“There are some people who, under an exterior of piety, take offense at the slightest insult…The way to overcome the devil when he excites feelings of hatred against those who injure us, is immediately to pray for their conversion” – St. John Vianney
I recently had a…clash, shall we say, with some fellow Catholics. To cut a long story short, apparently I reject the Trinity and specifically the Holy Spirit because I refuse to participate in their kind of ‘worship’ as the two go “hand in glove”. Oh boy, ohhh boy, did I get angry. To say that they made my blood boil is an understatement. I don’t sleep well at the best of times, but I made myself so angry thinking about all the absurd and awful things they said to me, that I kept myself up for hours. No one, no one, is worth that. What is worse is that I didn’t help them or myself by getting angry. What I should have done, what I am only remembering now as I am a bit calmer about it all, is that I should have just got down on my knees and prayed for them instead of lying awake.
This morning, I laughed out loud whilst reading part of St Therese of Lisieux’s diary (p. 285) where she rejoices in all the opportunities she was given to be humble and to accept little hardships.
…I was doing laundry with a Sister who kept throwing dirty water in my face each time she picked up the handkerchiefs on her bench. My first movement was to draw back and dry my face, in order to show the Sister who was sprinkling me that she would do me a service if she would move gently, but immediately I thought that I was quite silly to refuse treasures that had been given to me so generously, and I took great care not to let my struggle show. I made every effort to desire to receive a lot of the dirty water, so that in the end I had really taken a liking to this new form of sprinkling with holy water, and I promised to come back another time to that happy place where I had received so many treasures
St Therese really conquered her own defects by relying on God and because of her devotion to Him. She is a wonderful example to me that I can do the same. As St Josemaria Escriva said,
Don’t say: ‘That’s the way I’m made… it’s my character’. It’s your lack of character: Be a man.
Or a woman!