"Go and give some money to that blind
beggar," said the Rabbi of Witkowo to
his son when they were walking together.
The boy did so and then rejoined his father.
"Why did you not raise your head?"
asked the father. "But he is blind,"
replied the boy, "he could not possibly
see me." "And how do you know,"
retorted the Rabbi, "that he is not
an imposter? Go raise your hat."
Saint Frances de Sales, a Doctor of
always remarked that "nothing
strong as gentleness, nothing as gentle
A hunter in the desert saw Abba Antony
himself with the brothers, and he was
(We have such strange ideas of holiness!)
Wanting to show him that it was necessary
sometimes to meet the needs of the
the old man said to him, "Put
in your bow and shoot it." So
And the old man said, "Shoot another,"
and he did so. Then the old man said,
yet again," and the hunter replied,
"If I bend my bow so much, I will
it." Then the old man said to
is the same with the work of God. If
the brothers beyond measure, they will
break. Sometimes it is necessary to
down to meet their needs."
Supposedly the author of a collection
famous Greek fables, Aesop wrote, "Good
manners and soft words have brought
a difficult thing to pass."
This clergyman was travelling with
who was rather improper in his conversation.
He was constantly punctuating his talking
with swear words and blasphemies. The
was very disturbed but he did not want
irritate his companion. At a certain
however he thought of a stratagem which
"May I ask you a favour, sir?"
he asked his companion. "There
be some ladies coming on this coach.
I fail to remember and use a swear
front of the ladies, would you kindly
me?" The companion got the message
he was cleaner in his speech from that
"The art of saying appropriate
in a kindly way is one that never goes
of fashion, never ceases to please
within the reach of the humblest."
David Livingstone was a Scottish missionary
and explorer in Africa. In 1871, Henry
Stanley embarked on a journey in the
to locate Livingstone, of whom little
been heard since his departure in 1866.
he found him, he spent months in his
Though he never spoke about spiritual
Livingstone's habits were beyond Stanley's
comprehension. For the sake of Christ
his Gospel, the missionary doctor was
tireless, eager, spending himself and
spent for his master. Stanley wrote,
I saw that unwearied patience, that
zeal, those enlightened sons of Africa,
became a Christian by his side, though
never spoke to me about it." Two
later Livingstone was found dead by
I believe it was the Master who invited
to "learn from me, because I am
and humble of heart". Gentleness
be an important virtue.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
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