Governing With Meekness

As without faith it is impossible to please God, so without mildness it is impossible to please men and to govern them well. -St. Bernard

The same Saint proved this by his example. When he was made Abbot, he proceeded at first with much austerity and severity; and though his monks had a high opinion of him, they could not adapt themselves to each other. Therefore, he was warned by God to show more suavity and sweetness; and when he did so, he gained for himself the affection of all, and a most exact obedience.

I have considered all methods of governing, and even tried them, and I have finally seen that the best is that which is amiable, sincere, humble, and patient. -St. Jane Frances de Chantal

It was indeed thus that this Saint lived among her subjects, in a gentle and humble manner, and thus she gained from them whatever she desired. When she asked for anything unimportant, she proceeded with so much submission that they were overcome by her humility; and when she required what was necessary, she did it with so much sweetness, that no one who had a heart, could fail to obey her orders promptly.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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