Every morning I try to take in the daily Mass readings via my Logos software. It has been hit or miss, but I know the day starts off better when I do it.
After I'm done reading that, I also try to read that day's entry in the Pictorial Lives of the Saints. This daily devotional by John Shea from 1887 has a few paragraphs on a different saint each day of the year. This has also been both educational and enjoyable.
A few Fridays ago, this was the reflection of the day for St. Gregory Nazianzen: “We must overcome our enemies,” said St. Gregory, “by gentleness; win them over by forbearance. Let them be punished by their own conscience, not by our wrath. Let us not at once wither the fig-tree, from which a more skilful gardener may yet entice fruit.”
That was really annoying and not at all what I wanted to hear that morning. Let them be punished by their own conscience, not by my wrath? Seriously? I was annoyed with someone and really wanted to tell them off. I'm sure you know the feeling. And of course we're just certain telling them off will make us feel better, will fix whatever problem they are having, and in general make the world a better place. It is rough to get reminded before seven in the morning that you're wrong. It is even rougher realizing that you're wrong about something eternal. Nobody I know actively wants to mess that kind of thing up!
I sat on it all weekend and eventually did post it to my Facebook, more as a reminder to myself than anyone else. Within a week or so another friend posted this picture and the following verses.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. ~Ephesians 4:32
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. ~1 Thessalonians 5:15
Recompense to no man evil for evil. ~Romans 12:17
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. ~Romans 12:21
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. ~1 Peter 3:8
It is so easy to be mad with others. We forget that we're not perfect either - we're all sinners. We forget God loves that other person and wants for them to know Him and be with HIm forever, regardless of what we happen to think of them at the time. We forget everyone has their own lives, issues, feelings, and problems that may cause them to act the way they do and then we forget to have compassion on them. Sometimes it is good to be reminded of what we forget.