I would like to start out with a quote by St. Francis de Sales. He was a very practical saint who gave good common sense sound advice.
Let us strive to be kind, meek and humble with everyone, but especially so with
those whom God has destined to be our companions. Let us not be one of those
who are angels in public and devils at home.
In the book, Spiritual Diary, which is a collection of selected sayings and examples of the saints, it says that Francis de Sales treated everyone of his household with kindness, including his servants. He was never harsh with them in word or deed, asked rather than commanded, and always greeted each one courteously.
As you know, it is often easier to be kind to someone we meet for the first time than those we live with or work with every day. I know my children witnessed me as a grizzly bear many times at home, followed moments later by me being very pleasant to someone on the phone or at the door. What a hypocrite!
There are things that people I love do that annoy me. I know I can annoy them, too. I have lately been coming up with a deliberate action to try to quietly learn to live with the annoyance and make it an offering. Notice that St. Francis de Sales says, “Strive to be kind, meek and humble.” Striving means to try very hard. It means to make a plan so you will know how to behave when someone close to you punches your buttons.
By making a plan I mean to think about what I am going to do ahead of time so that when I get annoyed, I am not a devil at home. That plan may be as simple as saying a Hail Mary in my mind.
I really think striving and making an internal plan is key, or else we just fly off the handle and our mouth shoots off words that can be hurtful and that we later regret.
None of us is perfect. I certainly am not and don’t pretend to be. But I can try harder. I cannot do it on my own, but I can grow in patience and self-control with the grace of God which He loves to pour out on those who ask.
Mary Ann / Mother Hen