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God's light, love, and comforting, healing presence are far more powerful than darkness, pain and loss. But it's up to those of us who know it to make it so, especially in the midst of tragedy and terror.

Certainly, we enfold all those affected in prayers for comfort and healing. We bless all involved with rescue, treatment and investigation. We give thanks for heroic efforts to effectively respond to disaster. And....if we're to transcend the evils of fear, hate and vengeance that fuel hate terrorism, we must also pray for the wisdom and understanding to deal wisely with our own feelings of anger and outrage.

"If your house is on fire," Thich Naht Hanh writes in Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, "the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put the fire out, not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist. If you run after the person you suspect has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her."

Few are well-prepared to quell the fires of our own anger. More commonly, we lash out under the false belief that inflicting our suffering on another relieves it.

So tread lightly through the complex mix of emotions coursing through collective consciousness in these troubling times. As you recognize the fiery heat of anger, notice its effects: tense muscles, impatience, short temper. Hold them gently, Thich Naht Hanh says, like a mother would hold a crying baby. Eventually the flames die down. From the ashes, wisdom, truth and compassion can arise, and our innate capacity for lovingkindness is restored.