Daily Thought For March 12, 2017

The Quality of Meekness

The irony is that meekness, indeed a virtue, is the one virtue above all that allows us to remain ourselves in the midst of adversity. It allows us to maintain self-possession when adversity strikes, rather than be possessed by the adversity itself.

Meekness is more synonymous with empowerment than it is with weakness because, as Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote, meekness makes a man self-possessed. Dionysius said that Moses, surely no Milquetoast, “was deemed worthy of the divine apparition on account of his great meekness.” According to Saint Hilary, “Christ dwells in us by our meekness of soul.” When we are overcome by anger, we lose the sense of ourselves that allows God to dwell within us. Anger excludes God; meekness invites His presence.

Since meekness is self-possession in the face of adversity, it enables a person to do good in response to evil. Meekness is not cowardliness, timidity, or servility; it is the power that restrains the onslaught of anger and subjects it to the order of reason. While it may be more natural to express anger when one is assaulted, meekness is the higher path. It prevents evil from completely overcoming the person who is already suffering enough from evil. Meekness prevents this suffering from advancing to the precincts of the soul—first to depression and then to despair.

DeMarco, D. (2000). The Many Faces of Virtue (pp. 23–24). Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing.

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