Greatness in Small Things

St Philip Neri

The greatest fault among those who have a good will, is that they wish to be something they cannot be, and do not wish to be what they necessarily must be. They conceive desires to do great things, for which, perhaps, no opportunity may ever come to them, and, meantime, neglect the small which the Lord puts into their hands. There are a thousand little acts of virtue, such as bearing with the importunities and imperfections of our neighbors, not resenting an unpleasant word or a trifling injury, restraining an emotion of anger, mortifying some little affection, some ill-regulated desire to speak or to listen, excusing an indiscretion, or yielding to another in trifles. These are things to be done by all; why not practise them? The occasions for great gains come but rarely, but of little gains many can be made each day; and by managing these little gains with judgment, there are some who grow rich. -St. Francis de Sales

St. Philip Neri, enkindled with a desire of martyrdom, had resolved to go to preach the Faith in India. But when God informed him, by revelation, that his India must be in Rome, he employed himself there, and by leading a life full of virtuous actions, he became a great Saint.

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

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