Virtue of Meekness – Ninth Day of May
Learn of Me that I am meek and humble of heart. St. Matt. 11:29.
If you would labor with fruit in the conversion of souls, it is necessary to throw the balm of sweetness over the wine of your zeal, that it be not too ardent, but good, pacific, suffering, and full of compassion. Human nature is of such a temper that it can be softened entirely only by sweetness. — St. Francis of Sales.
St. Francis Xavier, while preaching at Macao in the presence of a great number of infidels, was insulted by the people, who threw stones at him, thinking to silence him. The saint continued, seemingly unconscious of them; which so touched their hearts that they were more moved by his patience and meekness than by what he was saying, and many became converted.
St. Francis of Sales, seeing one day a great sinner confess great faults without contrition, commenced to weep. “Why do you weep, Father?” asked the pretended penitent. “My son, I weep because you do not,” replied the saint with much sweetness. This was enough to inspire the sinner with the sentiments of sorrow with which he should have been penetrated.
A great libertine presented himself to St. Philip Neri to confess his sins. The saint received him with uch kindness. Having heard his confession, he said, in a tone which breathed of charity: “My son, I do not exact much of you. I ask you to say seven times a day the Salve Regina, and to kiss as many times the earth, saying, ‘It may be that I shall soon die’.” The man made the promise, kept it, and lived ever after a most Christian life, dying, fourteen years afterwards, in sanctity.
Grant, O Lord, that I may speak to sinners with a sweetness which comes from charity, and which will touch their hearts, that they may see that I am afflicted because they are enemies of God and in danger of being lost.