"The question is whether our losses lead to resentment or to gratitude. Resentment is a real option. Many choose it. When we are hit with one loss after another, it is very easy to become disillusioned, angry, bitter, and increasingly resentful. The older we become, the greater is the temptation to say: 'Life has cheated me. There is no future for me, nothing to hope for. The only thing to do is to defend the little I have left, so that I won't lose it all.'

"Resentment is one of the most destructive forces in our lives. It is cold anger that has settled into the center of our being and hardened our hearts. Resentment can become a way of life that so pervades our words and actions that we no longer recognize it as such.

"I often wonder how I would live if there were no resentment at all in my heart. I am so used to talking about people I do not like, to harboring memories about events that gave me such pain, or to acting with suspicion and fear that I do not know how it would be if there were nothing to complain about and nobody to gripe about! My heart still has many corners that hide my resentments and I wonder if I really want to be without them. What would I do without these resentments? And there are many moments in life in which I have the opportunity to nurture them. Before breakfast I have already had many feelings of suspicion, jealousy, many thoughts about people I prefer to avoid, and many little plans to live my day in a guarded way.

"I wonder if there are any people without resentments. Resentment is such an obvious response to our many losses. The tragedy is that much resentment is hidden within the church. It is one of the most paralyzing aspects of the Christian community."