How are we to combat anger and hatred? I've found, at least as I participate in discussions over the internet, I tend to be very quick to anger when challenged, which descends into hate if I find more challenging my views, or I perceive that I'm being mocked in some way.
It's been terrible at many points, and has gotten me in plenty of trouble, and I've found it doesn't stay here online, but it eats away at my soul, and it affects me in my real life, I lose any happiness I've previously had, I become depressed, angry and impatient. If I say something out of anger online, I try to rationalize it, and it may eventually become part of my very mindset.
This has become especially true with Orthodox discussions, where I expect everyone to agree with me, and when that doesn't happen, I become angry and lash out at them even worse than others. It hurts the worst and causes me more torment when I encounter other Orthodox who have differing points of view, and who may even mock me when I become angry.
Over the years, even prior to being Orthodox, I've found myself to be quick to anger online, and quite intolerant and closed-minded. This even affected me in school, as I feel I've become less creative, less able to think beyond my narrow perspective. I became Orthodox because I wanted to be right, I wanted to be part of the Church that teaches the right thing.
I was once told by an elderly parishioner, who had some disagreements with other Orthodox (yet still attended their funeral), that he is a Christian first, and Orthodox second. Yet I feel like I can only be a Christian through the Orthodox Church, and I've come to the point that I've decided if I weren't Orthodox, I wouldn't even be a Christian, and if I weren't Orthodox, I'd be an Atheist. I've driven myself into a black/white mentality where if Orthodoxy isn't right, then nothing is and God must not exist.
I no longer pray regularly as I did when first converting. I haven't regularly read the scriptures since becoming Orthodox, and when I do, that only lasts a few weeks, and I find them less fulfilling than the Fathers & Saints.
How in the world can I combat this? I can only attend Liturgy once a week and no longer live close enough to a parish to attend vespers. I don't have regular contact with one Priest I can regularly confess to or meet with privately. I miss the days when I could regularly meet with my Priest in his office and discuss how I can solve my problems, I miss being able to worship multiple times a week and have personal, real contact with other Orthodox rather than through a screen.
I have my prayer ropes and my prayer books, but I just can't get myself to consistently pray anymore. It's even harder to read the scriptures.
How do the Fathers and Saints treat the issue of anger and hatred? What should i do?