Presence of God – Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Temperance makes man master of himself by controlling the passions of concupiscence; meekness makes him master of himself by controlling the impulses of anger. The great value of this virtue lies in the fact that it assures the soul of that inner peace which is so necessary in order to fulfill serenely all its duties toward God and toward the neighbor. The soul, when upset by resentments and anger, is unable to see things in their true light, to form unbiased judgments, to make wise decisions, or to keep words and actions within the limits of courtesy and kindness. A person’s manner becomes brusque, unrestrained, and often unjust, provoking displeasure in others; charity is cooled and harmonious relationships are disturbed. Unrestrained anger clouds the mind, preventing it from recognizing God’s will, and thus making the soul swerve from the line of duty to follow the impulses of the passions. It is the task of meekness to moderate and calm all such movements of passion by giving the soul mastery of itself, enabling it to remain tranquil, even in difficult or irritating circumstances. “Let us be very meek toward everyone,” exhorts St. Francis de Sales, “and take care that our heart does not escape from our hands; therefore, let us place it every morning in an attitude of humility, meekness and tranquility. Perfect equanimity, meekness and unalterable graciousness are virtues more rare than perfect chastity and are most desirable.” In order to keep our heart free from the movements of anger, we should be prompt in restraining them as soon as they appear, because if we favor them, even a little, they will at once gain strength, and it will be much more difficult for us to overcome them. Constant fidelity in repressing every feeling of anger will gradually bring us to the enjoyment of the sweet fruit of meekness: “The meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight in abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:11).
“O Jesus, meekest Lamb, who being cursed did not curse, who suffering injuries did not threaten, who receiving the greatest contempt, answered with divine meekness or preserved an admirable silence, help me to follow Your example, to repress my anger, to embrace meekness, and armed with patience, to suffer willingly any labor so that I may come to enjoy eternal repose with You” (Venerable Leo Du Pont [known as the Holy Man of Tours and, also, The Apostle of the Holy Face]).
“O Lord, with Your help, I desire especially to practice meekness and resignation to Your will, not so much in extraordinary matters as in the events and vexations of everyday life.
“As soon as I notice anger rising within me, I will gather my strength, not impetuously but gently, not violently but sweetly, and I will endeavor to restore peace to my heart. But knowing well that I can do nothing by myself, I will take care to call upon Your aid as the Apostles did when they were harassed by the tempest and buffeted by the angry waters. O Lord, would You allow me to invoke You in vain? Deign to hasten to help me at such times; command my passions to subside, raise Your hand in blessing, and a great calm will follow. Teach me to be meek toward all, with those who offend or oppose me, and even with myself, not becoming angry with myself because of my frequent relapses and defects. When I find that I have fallen, in spite of my efforts, I will meekly rise again and say, ‘Come, my poor heart. Behold, we have fallen again into the ditch which we have so often resolved to avoid. Let us rise now, and leave it forever. Let us have recourse to God’s mercy; let us place our hopes in it, and it will help us.’ Trusting in You, O Lord, I will begin again, and keep to the path of humility and meekness” (St. Francis de Sales).
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Art: Venerable Leo Du Pont, artist unknown, before 1876, PD-US author’s life plus 70 years or less; Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.