Its no secret that my confirmation saint, Francis De Sales, had a short fuse. Apparently, he had to work long and hard at getting his anger under control. Now he is remembered as a gentle man, meek & wise. This gives me hope.
Some guy ran a red today & would have tagged me on my left turn if I hadn't been watching. My first honest thought was to follow & torment. It was Friday & I had been on the interstate for an hour and a half dodging accidents, speeders & other traffic vigilantes. My patience was thin.
I chose to follow the traffic rules & continued on my way to work. Five minutes later, as fate would have it, I ended up behind the guy who ran the red. I could see him hunched low in his seat. He was a young guy, kind of "gangsta" (for lack of a better word). He was talking on his cell phone and totally clued out to anything in the world but his own business.
I made the choice not to exact vengeance in my mind. I wasn't going to entertain thoughts of retribution. I forced myself to pray instead. As we parted ways, I realized just how difficult it is to actually follow the commandment to love my "enemy" & turn the other cheek! This lovely virtue is also known as meekness* and its something I've begun seeking God for lately. If ever you doubt, rest assured, He answers prayer.
Today I focused inward instead of outward. Instead of pointing the finger & blaming that guy for his wrong done to me, I honed in on my own offense toward him.
First thought: I was wronged & he must suffer.
Second thought: Jesus, forgive me for the vengeance I feel toward this person. Bless him and keep him as you do me.
May God always grant me the grace to make it to the second thought...
*Meekness: enduring injury with patience and without resentment.