ADMONISHING THE MEEK AND THE
The meek, when in
authority, suffer from inactivity which is sister to laziness and, by
their excessive gentleness, relax the severity of the life of the
gospel. The choleric, when in authority, go into a frenzy and
dissipate their subjects; they think, many times, that anger is zeal
The meek must be more
solicitous; the choleric must give up their turbulence. The meek must
aim at zeal for righteousness; the choleric must add meekness to zeal.
He is not filled with the
Holy Spirit who either, in the calmness of his meekness, abandons the
fervour of his zeal or, being in the fervour of his zeal, loses the
virtue of meekness.
When Paul admonished
Timothy on how to preach, he said: "Reprove, entreat, rebuke. .
.in ALL PATIENCE and doctrine." When admonishing Titus, he
said: ". . .rebuke with ALL AUTHORITY." Because Titus was
too weak while Timothy had a little too much zeal, Paul inflamed the
first with zeal and restrained the other with patience. To the first,
he gave what was lacking; to the other, he removed what was excessive.
Paul urged one with the spur; the other, he checked with a bridle. He
watered one, the other, he pruned.
The choleric pursue even
those who avoid them, stirring up occasions of strife, rejoicing in
the trouble caused by contention. So, in correcting these, shun them
when they are angry because they do not listen. But when they are
calm, they listen and blush for having been patiently borne with.
Turbulent minds, on perceiving that they were shown consideration,
touched in their hearts because of being reasoned with calmly, settle
down in their frenzy.
St. Gregory the Great: Pastoral
Care, Part III, Chapter 16