Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. †
In the spirit of the Gospel we have just read from St. Matthew and in the context of so much that our Savior has been teaching us we should reflect on the virtue of gentleness. As Isaiah foretold of the Savior, He will not break the bruised reed He will not condemn, He will not cry out. Gentleness is written on almost every page of the Gospels describing the Savior. Yet there are certain virtues that are as we might expect popular in certain times. No doubt because they conform with the spirit of those times. By now thousands of volumes have been written on the spirit of our times. And I suppose in the Western world at least, the features that characterize our age are aggressiveness, boldness, a strong, often, ruthless effort to conquer. Since the turn of our present century we have had two devastating world wars that accumulatively have cost more lives lost than in all the previous wars of human history. Surely then the virtue of gentleness scarcely typifies our age. And yet if we are going to be authentic followers of the Master we must be gentle. So we ask ourselves first what is this virtue of gentleness. Then look briefly at our Lord’s teaching about this virtue and His practice of the same and then to apply all of this to ourselves of why we, if we wish to be truly Christ-like, must be gentle.