Thought for the Day – 31 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Patience may be external or internal.
Both are necessary aspects of the same virtue.
External patience consists in refraining from outbursts of anger and from sarcastic comments – in short, from all words and actions which might give offence to others.
It is easy to be patient when our affairs are running smoothly and everybody is being nice to us.
It is quite another matter, when we come up against difficulties or find that we are being slighted or insulted.
It is hard to remain silent when our pride has been wounded and it requires the virtue of a saint to be able to smile at our tormentors.
It took St Francis de Sales years of spiritual conflict before he achieved this kind of perfection.
How far can we claim to have succeeded in acquiring this virtue?
We should always remember that temperamental explosions are unworthy of a rational being.
The only proper course when we have been offended is to state our case clearly and calmly, though generally it is more heroic to remain silent.
Impatience is futile because it cannot remedy the situation and often harmful, because it upsets us and only produces bitterness.
Acts of impatience, moreover, are a source of bad example to others.
“The quick-tempered man,” says Sacred Scripture, “makes a fool of himself” (Prov 14:17).
“The patient man,” it adds,. “shows much good sense but, the quick-tempered man displays folly at it’s height” (Ibid 14:19).
If we live in the presence of God, we shall learn to be calm and self-controlled in all circumstances.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci