THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST.
XXVIII.-” CHARITY IS KIND “-HE THAT LOVES JESUS CHRIST LOVES MEEKNESS
. The spirit of meekness is peculiar to God : My spirit is sweet above honey-(Ecclus. xxiv. 27).
Hence it is that a soul that loves God loves also all those God loves namely, her neighbours; so
that she eagerly seeks·ever; occasion of helping all, of consoling all, and of making all happy as
far as she can. St. Francis de Sales, who was the master and model of holy meekness, says : H
Humble meekness is the virtue of virtues which God has so much recommended to us ; therefore we
should endeavour to practise it always and in all things.” Hence the Saint gives us this rule :
What you see can be done with love, do it; and what you see cannot be done with out offence, leave
it undone. He means, when it can be omitted without offending God ; because an offence of God must
always, and as quickly as possible, be pre vented by him who is bound to prevent it.
This meekness should be particularly observed towards the poor, who, by reason of their poverty,
are often harshly treated by men. . It should likewise be especially practised towards the sick who
are suffering under infirmities, and, for the most part, meet with small help from others..
Meekness is more especially to be observed in our behaviour towards our enemies : Overcome evil
with good-(Rom. xii. 21). Hatred must be overcome by love, and persecution by meekness ; thus the
Saint:: acted, and so they conciliated the affections of their most exasperated enemies.
“There is nothing,” says St. Francis de Sales, “that gives so much edification to our neighbour as
meekness of behaviour.” The Saint, therefore, was generally seen smiling and with a countenance beaming
with charity, which gave a tone to all his words and actions. This gave occasion to St. Vincent de
Paul to declare that he never knew a kinder man in his life. He said, further, that it seemed to
him that in this his lordship of Sales was a true likeness of Jesus Christ. Even in refusing what
he could not in conscience give, he did so with such sweetness that all, though unsuccessful in
their requests, went away satisfied and well-disposed towards him. He was gentle towards all,
towards superiors, towards equals and inferiors, at home and abroad; in contrast with some, who, as
the Saint used to say, seemed angels abroad, but were devils at home. Moreover, the Saint, in his
conduct towards servants, never complained of their remissness ; at most he would give them an
admonition, but always in the gentlest terms. And this is a thing most praise worthy in
superiors. The superior should use all kind ness towards those under him. When telling them what
they have to do, he should request rather than command. St. Vincent de Paul said : ” A superior
will never find a better means of being readily obeyed than meekness.” And to the same effect was
the saying of St. Jane Frances de Chantal: “I have tried various methods of governing, but I have
not found any better than that of meekness and forbearance.”