"Look for one," says St. Bernard
"and pay her weight in gold if a wearisome and bad-tempered religious
is lacking in the monastery."
This wearisome or bad-tempered sister, who
appears so unlike Christ because she insults and injures, is looked upon by
the saints as a physician sent to us by Christ Himself.
St. Dorotheus relates that a certain monk
was quietly and peaceably sitting in his cell. A brother came and spoke a
disturbing word. The monk was troubled and vexed, saying, "If that
brother did not come, I should hot have been angry." The monk was
deceived; the brother only showed him that anger was still alive in him.
When we are insulted or even injured and
are angered and impatient, this is a sign surely that our soul is sick. In
fact, if we are not sick, we won't suffer. The wearisome sister only placed
a finger on our own weakness and we reacted badly because the weak spot is
there. Instead, we should admit that we have a sore spot, and be grateful
from the heart to the sister because through her we learned that we have
something which could prevent us from going to heaven.
Here are the reasons why God allows
wearisome people around us. First, to prevent us from deceiving ourselves
into thinking we are already perfect souls. Secondly, to help us achieve
greater self-knowledge through the vices that are aroused in our souls. If
anger is not in us, we would not get angry.
Let us not think that the wearisome sister
can destroy or harm us. Or that if she is not around life would be easier.
No, it is the wearisome sister that will bring us closer to God, for it is
Christ Himself who corrects and admonishes us through her.