“Learning the Divine Attitude to become more and more gentle, patient and simple!”
(Based on 1 Sam 24:2-20 and Mk 3:13-19 and Feast of St Francis de Sales)
Three different incidents are a told of a person, who was known to struggle with anger…
… yet would deal with it, with a lot of maturity and patience.
1. The first incident is of stray man who walked through the streets, and was trying to ‘do him in’ – trying to harm the person.
This person however, would tell him:
“I am told you wish me harm. I can promise you that even if you had put out one of my eyes, I would still look kindly upon you with the other!”
2. The second incident is when he would be insulted by a certain high official and he was asked, why he did not lose his temper. He would admit and say:
“At that time and many other times, I was seething with anger like water in a pot, boiling over the fire; but that by the Grace of God, even if the violent efforts to resist such passion endangered my life…
… I would not let myself go!”
3. The third incident would be when the person would be instigated to lose temper and to speak badly to a young man. This would be his reaction to the same:
“What did you want me to do in the matter?
…I did what I could to arm myself with an anger that was not sinful. I took my heart in my two hands, but I did not have the courage to dress him down.
>> To tell you the truth, I was afraid of losing in a quarter of an hour this little bit of liquid of gentleness…
… which I have attempted to gather for twenty-two years, drop by drop like dew in the vessel of my puny heart!”
All these three incidents would be occasions when a person – like any of us – in the normal circumstance would have got angry and lost patience.
>> However, this person, with the Grace of God remained calm and composed.
This person is St Francis de Sales – known as the Gentleman Saint…
… whose feast we celebrate today.
His life is a great inspiration to all of us…
… as he would allow himself to be moulded by the Grace of God and his honest efforts to grow in virtue and holiness.
Even though he had a disposition towards losing patience, St Francis de Sales would allow God’s Mighty Love to transform him towards gentleness and kindness…
… and “to repay evil not with evil, but to do good to people”!
The First Reading of the Day (1 Sam 24:2-20) is a marvelous exhortation on the need to “repay evil not with evil, but with good!”
David and his men are in the Desert of En Gedi.
>> It is a wild place of cliffs, caves, wilderness and of springs.
Saul – along with nearly three thousand chosen people – who was in search of David to have him killed…
… goes into a cave to relieve himself.
David gets an opportunity to kill Saul, who had in fact, come to kill him!
Here was a neat chance to take revenge and settle scores.
David would even be instigated by his fellow men:
“The men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.” (1 Sam 24:4)
David, however, would deny “doing evil for evil!”
>> Instead, he follows the Divine Strategy of “doing good, even in the face of evil!”
He spares the life of Saul – who is the anointed of the Lord – and even goes on to make an oath of not harming him!
Here is David following the great Divine Strategy, and invites and inspires us to follow the same:
“Doing evil for evil is bad!”
Doing nothing for evil is better!
Doing good for evil is best!”
The Gospel of the Day (Mk 3:13-19) presents Jesus Who moves about with His Ministry of “failing to stop in the face of evil, and continuing to do good!”
Jesus, in the midst of a ministry, of people rejecting him, and failing to accept His words…
… refuses to give in to failure or to stop doing the good.
>> Instead, “He responds to evil, by doing good” and establishes a band of twelve chosen ones…
… who are to join Him and continue His Noble Mission of “doing good, even in the face of evil!”
The twelve disciples who are chosen (Mk 3:13-19) would be schooled in the Discipleship of the Lord…
… to “leave everything and adopt the Divine Strategy of ‘doing good, even in the face of evil’”
We are invited to grow into Christians who display the Love and Mercy of God to people…
… by a life of gentleness and patience!
>> David would beautifully display this dimension by sparing the life of Saul and giving us the great lesson of “respect and honour” that is due to all the anointed and consecrated ones!
>> Jesus, remarkably responds to hostile and antagonistic situations in His Ministry by establishing a “group of people who would be invited to become agents of the Lord’s Mercy and Compassion!”
>> St Francis de Sales, wonderfully overcame his weaknesses in order to grow in the virtues of gentleness, kindness and love of God, and to be known as “the Gentleman Saint!”
Let the readings of the Day and the Saint of the Day – St Francis de Sales – inspire and help all of us to become “His Missionaries of Mercy and Compassion” in the world…
… by living the simple virtues of gentleness, patience and simplicity!
May the following popular quotes of the Gentleman Saint – St Francis de Sales – inspire and strengthen us:
>> “Bloom where you are planted”
>> “Be what you are and be at its best”
>> “I have made a pact with my tongue… not to speak, when my heart is troubled!”
>> “A spoonful of honey attracts more bees than a barrel of vinegar”
>> “Be patient with all things; but first of all, with yourself!”
>> “Praying daily for half an hour is essential, except when you are busy… in those times, an hour!”
Wish you all a very Happy Feast of St Francis De Sales!
>> With joy and love, let us proclaim with him, “Vive Jesus…Live Jesus!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “God takes pleasure to see you take your little steps…
… and like a good father who holds his child by the hand, He will accommodate His steps to yours and will be content to go no faster than you.
>> Why do you worry?”