March 6

Reflection

Fast from anger and feast on patience.

Anger is a corrosive state of mind. Our peace disappears and we become tense, unhappy, and uncomfortable. We are easily irritated and tend to overreact. Whatever the causes, there seems to be so much of this negativity and hostility in the air now. In its mild form it manifests as rudeness but we also hear of people being harmed or even killed as a result of specious arguments.  “Hate crimes” and “road rage” are part of our vocabulary. There are times when anger may be justified, but this is not the usual everyday situation. We need to find another way of reacting to the disappointments and stresses of life, a better way of relating. Although we cannot convert all of society, we can begin with ourselves.

Patience is more than just gritting our teeth and hanging in there. Patience is the ability to control oneself in annoying or difficult situations. Instead of reacting blindly, it enables us to realize we do not have to get angry just because things don’t go our way. We cannot avoid unpleasant, frustrating situations or people who may annoy us, but we can look at difficult situations in a more realistic manner. Patience requires the strength to keep focused on what is important and keep calm under pressure. It enables us to maintain our self-respect, keep our relationships intact and find peaceful solutions to differences.

Prayer

Make me an instrument of Your peace.

Action

What do you experience in your daily interactions? What do you think is acceptable? How can you improve your own responses?

Suggested Reading

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
Proverbs 29:11

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
Proverbs 15:18

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

 Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.
Henri Nouwen

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
Aristotle

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.
Mahatma Gandhi

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
Thomas A’ Kempis

Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.
Saint Francis de Sales

Patience is the companion of wisdom.
Saint Augustine

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.
Carl Jung

The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.
Arnold H. Glasow

 

 

 

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