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MEEKNESS AND RESIGNATION ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY

MEEKNESS AND RESIGNATION ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY

“Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart” (Mt11:29a,b)

IT IS ALWAYS A DUTY TO GIVE A GOOD EXAMPLE

“Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.”

Such is the lesson of the divine Master. Meekness [the opposite of anger] and resignation are virtues which are absolutely necessary.

Let us not yield to hastiness, the first impulses of which are almost always independent of our will.

Reproaches for what is already done are often useless; mildness renders efficacious those which are necessary.

If it is a duty to reprehend, it is equally and always a duty to give a good example; for impatience in a pious person can only be a source of scandal.

The habit of self-restraint and self-denial tends greatly to the increase of holiness [both in ourselves and in those around us].

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

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BIBLE STUDY: BLESSED ARE THE MEEK: FOR THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH (Mt 5:5)

In today’s highly competitive world the virtue of meekness carries a very low rating

“In today’s highly competitive world the virtue of meekness carries a very low rating. The disesteem which many people have for meekness probably stems from their misunderstanding of its nature. If asked to describe a meek person, the average individual would answer, ‘A namby-pamby sort with no spirit. The kind who never stands up for his rights and who is everybody’s doormat.’

It takes a person of strong character to be genuinely meek

This popular concept of meekness is a very mistaken one. The truth is that it takes a person of strong character to be genuinely meek, because the essence of meekness is self-control. A meek person is one who is complete master of his temper and has immense patience toward the stupidity, the weakness and even the malice of other people.

The don’t-cross-me type of person really is a very insecure individual

Psychologists tell us that the easily irritated, don’t-cross-me type of person really is a very insecure individual. His angry reaction to contradiction or annoyance is a defence against his inner feeling of uncertainty concerning his own basic worth. Only a man (or woman) who has a wholesome confidence in his ability to deal with the demands of life is able to remain calm when crossed or contradicted or frustrated. Such a person has no need to shout and smash in order to maintain his own self-respect.

The truly meek man is anything but a weakling

The truly meek man is anything but a weakling. Yet, he is a humble person, inasmuch as he does not have an inflated sense of his own importance in God’s scheme of things. With humility he has a sense of humour, which means the wonderful gift of being able to laugh at himself. He has a sense of proportion, too, and understands that charity is much more important than self-vindication, that victory over self is much more significant than victory over another. The self-assertive, domineering person may win more battles than the meek man, but it is the meek man who wins the war.

How can I tell whether I possess the virtue of meekness?

If I wish to know whether I possess the virtue of meekness, there are a few pertinent questions which I can ask myself. For example, when an argument develops, do I raise my voice and feel a compulsion to prove myself right? Am I sharply critical of the mistakes of others, particularly when those mistakes inconvenience me? Do I react angrily to opposition? Am I irritable and snappish when others question my competency or the wisdom of my decisions? Do I brood unhappily over criticisms directed against me or go into a sullen pout when blocked from doing something I want to do? If I have to answer, ‘Yes, usually,’ to any of these questions, then I still am weak in the virtue of meekness.

Victory over self is much more significant than victory over another

There will be times, of course, when circumstances make it necessary for us to administer a correction to another person and to do so with firmness. However, firmness – even adamant firmness – is not incompatible with meekness. It is quite possible to be firm and still be gentle. In fact, the quiet firmness of the meek is likely to be much more effective than the thundering of the autocrat.

Jesus promises eternal life to those who cultivate meekness

No one is perfect, and even a meek person may have his bad moments in times of fatigue and stress. The great difference here between the meek and the non-meek is that the meek man feels ashamed of himself after an outburst of temper and is quick to make amends if his sharpness has hurt another. The self-assertive person, on the other hand, tells himself that his outburst was fully warranted. He must justify himself in his own mind to protect himself against his inner insecurity.

In view of the many ancillary virtues (humility, patience, charity, self-control) involved in the practice of meekness, it is no wonder that Jesus promises eternal life to those who cultivate this virtue. When Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth,’ He was not promising world domination to the man of quiet strength. Jesus was saying, in poetic imagery, that the meek shall possess all things forever – which is heaven.

Meekness does not come easy. But, in terms of happiness here as well as hereafter, its development is well worth the effort.”

– Fr. Leo J. Trese, One Step Enough, 1966

 

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“BLESSED ARE THE MEEK” – HOW DO WE IMPROVE OUR LEVEL OF MEEKNESS?

WEEPING FOR OUR SINS

“Being a disciple of Christ means being meek and gentle. And from what source may we draw this meekness? If we are continually mindful of our sins, if we grieve for them, if we weep for them. A soul which habitually feels such contrition does not permit itself to become vexed and angry.

In truth, where there is sorrow, anger cannot be; where there is compunction, anger is altogether out of place; where there is contrition of soul, there is no irritation. The soul that suffers the lash of contrition has no time to be aroused to anger, but it groans bitterly and weeps more bitterly.

‘HAVE MERCY ON ME, O GOD, ACCORDING TO YOUR GREAT MERCY’

Now, I know that many laugh when they hear these words, but I do not cease mourning for those who laugh. The present time is the time for mourning and grieving, because we commit many sins in word and deed…

Indeed, hear what the Prophet said: ‘Have mercy on me, O God, according to your great mercy.’ Well, then, we also must have mercy on our neighbours in this way: according to the great mercy shown to us. For we shall obtain the kind of treatment from our Lord that we give to our fellow servants.

And what is ‘great mercy’ like? When we give, not from superfluities, but from our necessities. But if we do not even give from our superfluities, what hope will there be for us? When shall we be rid of those sins of ours? Where shall we be able to flee and find salvation?”
– St John Chrysostom

 

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RECIPE FOR LONG LIFE BY 107-YEAR-OLD: “LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF CHRIST AND BEING MEEK AS REGARDS HIS WILL”

“Pope Francis greeted Sister Candida Bellotti at The Vatican last week as she celebrated her 107th birthday.

Sister Candida, believed to be the world’s oldest nun, joined the Camillian order 80 years ago.

Asked for her recipe for a long and good life, she said: ‘Listening to the voice of Christ and being meek as regards his will. Throughout my life I have always thought: wherever the Lord puts me, that is the right place for me.’

After Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Pope’s home, Sister Candida, who spent her working life as a nurse, spoke of the importance of being close to God.

‘Only those who feel the happiness of drawing near to the Lord can understand how abundant his love for us is, and how much serenity he leaves in our hearts,’ she said.

Sister Candida, who has seen 10 popes in her life, added: ‘There could have been no greater joy than to have celebrated my birthday with Pope Francis.'”
– This article by David V Barrett entitled “Pope greets world’s oldest nun aged 107” was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue February 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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GRACES FROM LOOKING AT THE CRUCIFIX WITH DEEP LOVE FOR JESUS

ST GERTRUDE:
After touching a crucifix devoutly, St Gertrude learned that “…if anyone looks at the image of the Cross of Jesus Christ with a holy intention, God rewards him with such goodness and mercy that he receives in his soul, as in a spotless mirror, an image which is so agreeable that the whole court of Heaven delights therein; and this serves to increase his eternal glory in the life to come in proportion as he has practised this act of devotion in this life.”

ST JOHN BOSCO:
Glance often at the Crucifix. The lessons it teaches you must guide your step in life.

MONS. NICOLA TAFURI:
Look at Christ crucified for a quarter of an hour, with faith, and thinking every moment of His divine patience; learn how to exercise your patience alongside Him to gain eternal life.

 

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“PRAYER-POWER”: THE MORE WE PRAY, THE MORE WE PLEASE GOD, THE MORE WE OBTAIN

As I feel a great attraction toward prayer I asked God, by Our Lady’s intercession, to give me the grace to go on increasing in love of this holy exercise until my death. It is the only means of purifying us, of uniting us to God, and of allowing God to unite himself to us and be glorified in us.

We must pray to obtain the apostolic virtues; pray that we may use them to help others, and pray also that we may not lose them while serving others. The counsel: pray without ceasing, seems sweet to me and in no way impossible. It includes the practice of the presence of God, and with his help I resolve to follow it. We always have need of God, therefore we must always pray. The more we pray, the more we please him, and the more we obtain.

I do not ask for consolation in prayer; that God gives where he chooses; I am not worthy of consolation, and I am too weak to bear it. Extraordinary graces are not good for me; to give them to me would be like building upon sand, or pouring a precious liquid into a broken vase. I ask God to give me a solid, simple gift of prayer which will glorify him and not make me vain. It seems to me that dryness and desolation accompanied by grace are very useful to me, for then I delight in making acts of real virtue: I strive against my bad inclinations and try to be faithful to God.

When we are distracted during prayer, and I find the time long because of our impatience to pass on to something else, it is good to say to yourself: My soul, are you tired of your God? Are you not satisfied with him? You possess him, and do you seek for something else? Where can you be better than in his company? Where can you profit more?

I have experienced that this calms the mind and unites it with God.

– St Claude de la Colombiere

 
 

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