03 Feb

Following Jesus Christ in word and deed

Do you wish to live in peace with the members of your family, particularly with those who have a right to exercise authority over you? If so, employ the means which a certain pious woman, obliged to live with a person disagreeable in her disposition, relates as follows: I fulfil all my duties with good humour, betraying none of the weariness which they occasion me; I do everything I can to please her; I bear patiently all that I find disagreeable; I ask her opinion upon many things about which I know more than she does.

Do you wish to live in peace with the rest of the world? If so, put into practice this maxim of an influential man, who, having been asked after the [French] Revolution, how he managed to escape the guillotine, replied: I remained humble and preserved silence.

Do you wish to live in peace with your conscience and with God? If so, let your Guardian Angel find you engaged every moment during the day, in one of these four things which formed the rule of life of a holy person: I pray, I work, I try to do what is right, I remain patient.

Do you wish to become a great saint? If so, practise, in addition to the actions which we have just mentioned, the following virtues: Order, the spirit of faith, spiritual combat, and perseverance.

Finally, do you desire that others should be always kind to you? – If so, take pleasure in offering little services, and then you need not fear to ask them. By offering little services you advance a step towards making a friend; by asking a favour you show a mark of confidence which flatters a friend. The result of this interchange of favours is a habit of mutual kindness, and a fear of disobliging in matters of greater importance.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889


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