Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wisdom from Saint Gregory the Great, Pope

St. Teresa of Avila used to sleep with a volume of St. Gregory under her pillow. I totally understand. St. Gregory is awesome!

Here's a gem from last Monday's Daily Office:

"Holy men best by tribulation must endure the assaults of those who use violence and verbal attacks. The former they resist with the shield of patience, but against the latter they launch the sharp arrows of true doctrine. . . For they have nothing but patient scorn for the enemy who moves against them, but they sympathize with their weaker fellows and bring them back to the safe way."

(From the Moral Reflections on Job)

I love those powerful images-- "the shield of patience" and "patient scorn". Whenever someone is mean to me I can now picture using the virtue of patience as a "shield" to protect me.

"Patient scorn" seems like such an odd juxtaposition. Patience and scorn. It's deep. I'm still wondering how to better apply "patient scorn" to my enemies in my daily life.