Patience in Conversation – Part 1 of 2

Resist your impatience faithfully. -St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis himself excelled in this. We read in his Life that a poor lawyer often visited him in regard to trifling matters of business, and that the Saint always listened to him with great courtesy and without any sign of weariness.

St. Vincent de Paul furnishes another example. It often happened that he was obliged to repeat the same thing many times, either because people did not understand him, or forgot what they had heard. But he was always calm, and showed neither anger nor weariness, nor did he send them away. He welcomed them with a cheerful countenance and with great affability, that they might not feel discouraged or slighted; and when he was in company with any one of high rank, if he saw them coming, he rose, and went to speak to them in private, repeating the same thing always with civility. One of them testified that he made him repeat the same thing five times in succession, when he was engaged, too, with persons of high rank; yet he never gave the least sign of impatience, repeating it the last time with the same quiet and calmness as he did at first, and showing in his face pleasure rather than dissatisfaction.

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

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