Patience With Self

It is easier for some people to be patient with others than with themselves. St. Francis de Sales, the gentle Bishop of Geneva, counsels such ones to not be so hard on themselves. This is what he says to them:

“We must always be at peace. Know that the virtue of patience is that which most assures us perfection; and if we are to be patient with others, we must be equally so with ourselves.”

“We must have patience, and little by little, correct and overcome our bad habits, for life on the whole is a continual warfare.”

“Do not be terrified if you are guilty of some little impatience; do not let it trouble you, but when you recognise it quietly humble yourself before God.”

“Try to preserve a sweet tranquillity of mind; say to your soul: ‘Courage I we have made a false step, but let us keep steadily on and keep watch over ourselves.’”

“We must endure our own want of perfection, if we would attain perfection. I say that we must endure it patiently, but we must not love or caress it. It is by the endurance of this suffering that humility is nourished.”

“Those who aspire to pure love of God have not so much need of patience with others as with themselves.”

Quotations from Maxims and Counsels of St. Francis de Sales, translated by Ella McMahon (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son, 1884).

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Sayings of Catholic saints and sages: spiritual food for meditation and reflection.
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