Imperfections

Beware of becoming vexed or impatient at the faults of others, for it would be folly when you see a man falling into a ditch, to throw yourself into another to no purpose. -St. Bonaventure

Cardinal Cesarini, a man of most gentle disposition, having been told that the mule he usually rode was lost, through the neglect of a servant, sent for him; but when he asked him about the matter, the man replied very rudely. The Cardinal was silent at first, but when the servant continued his impertinence, he turned to the bystanders, and said: “Do not wonder at my silence, for I thought it best to suppress my anger, and give reason time to gain control over passion, lest I should fall myself into a fault, by trying to correct the fault of another.”

You should never be displeased at the sight of your own imperfections, except with a displeasure humble, tranquil, and peaceful, not excited and angry; for this latter kind does more harm than good. -St. Francis de Sales

St. Vincent de Paul never felt anger or bitterness against himself on account of his defects, and often said that vice should be hated and virtue loved, not because the former displeases us, and the latter pleases us, but only for love of God, who hates vice and loves virtue; and thus the pain felt for a defect will have something in it sweet and tranquil.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga was not discouraged when he committed faults, but only turned his glance upon his own heart, and said, “Terra dedit fructum suum” — The earth has yielded its fruit.

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

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