Be meek and do not get angry, for anger is a fruit of egotism and self-will, while, on the contrary, meekness is a fruit of a humble heart and of cutting off one’s own will. When one gets angry, his mind loses its discretion, and as a result, it loses its equanimity and is carried away into saying improper words.
Even though the Holy Fathers liken all the passions to intoxication, primarily they liken anger with it, because when a person is intoxicated, he loses his dignity and makes a fool of himself in front of everyone-which is also what happens when an irascible person loses his temper.
The Lord tells us: “Learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt. 11:29 ) In order to find peace for our conscience, we must stifle and eradicate the beast of anger, whose lair is egotism.
When someone happens to criticize you, whether justly or out of tactlessness, take hold of yourself, repress the inward turmoil, close your mouth, and start saying the prayer internally, and at once you will see the beast choke! But every victory takes a struggle. If you want to subdue and eradicate your passions, learn to love humility and self-reproach. Only in this way are the passions diminished and obliterated.
When you are overcome by anger, you should realize that you are feeding it, only to find it stronger next time. But if, when it rises, you stifle it in the way we mentioned above then you should realize that you are starving it, and so the next time it rises, it will be weaker, and the next time even weaker, and little by little your anger will be healed.
Elder Ephraim ~ Counsels from the Holy Mountain