All of us at some time in life have gone through moments in which we lose control, in which our feelings and passions manage to dominate us and make us perpetrators of acts that we later regret. These are moments in which our passions take over our good wishes and the words of Saint Paul make sense: “I cannot understand what I do, because what I want, I do not do; and, on the other hand, what I hate, that’s what I do.” (Romans 7:15)
I recently lived one of these moments, during one of the most beautiful experiences that every woman can live… the birth of my first daughter. On the second day, I began to experience strong feelings of irritability and sadness and I felt quite overwhelmed because of postpartum hormonal discharge.
It was three days where these feelings took control of a large part of my attitudes. Fortunately, at the end of the third day, my husband, in an act of infinite love, managed to bring me Communion and invited me to watch Sunday Mass with him. In the middle of the Eucharist, I began to feel again the serenity and tenderness that had been fading inside me. From that day on, I was able to embrace, and live with love, the postpartum feelings of sadness and anger that continued to arise within me for at least another week or so.
After the storm passed, I understood that I had entered a new stage where, in my new role as a mother, I would face many similar moments. It was, so to speak, the preamble, the welcome to train and strengthen myself in the art of loving during moments of frustration.
This led me to ask, “What virtue can allow me to achieve this?” The answer is gentleness; the virtue, about which Jesus spoke to us in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
With this meekness, Jesus invites us to overcome anger with serenity and hatred with forgiveness, not on the surface, but deep within our hearts. The meek person is not necessarily the one who does not feel rage, he is the one who knows how to overcome it within himself and thus put his strength to good use so that he can make energetic decisions when necessary and in the right way, as when Jesus expelled the merchants from the Temple.1
Therefore, meekness, as Pope Francis reminds us, is a virtue of the strong and it should not be confused with timidity, because a big heart is required to master oneself, to be understanding, capable of forgiving, accepting of one’s shortcomings and able to put oneself at the service of others.2 It is a characteristic of the heart, which springs forth as a fruit of the grace of being close to Jesus, of having him in our hearts and allowing him to help us put our passions to good use. It is this virtue that will allow us to win the hearts of our children, spouses, friends, and everyone around us; in a few words… it is a virtue that will allow us to inherit the kingdom of God and sow that peace for which we so long.
1 John 2:13-22
2 Esteban Pittaro. “Pope Francis Leaves Voicemail for Journalist Who Criticized Him,” Aleteia, April 9, 2015.
Juan and Sofia were born into Catholic families in Colombia, South America. They met on Juan’s Patron Saint Feast Day, Saint John Bosco, January 31st and recently got married on the 31st of July. Both have encountered Jesus in their lives and decided to follow him with great commitment.
Juan is a Political Scientist and also a great golfer. He works in the Wine and Spirits Industry.
Sofia is a commercial real estate lawyer and works at her family-owned business. They currently live in Cali, Colombia.
Juan and Sofia are increasingly passionate about the apostolic mission with the youth and young professionals. They are committed to showing the love of God and his mysteries through the beauty of the sacrament of marriage and friendship. Both have lived their conversion through different spiritualities within the Church, such as the charismatic renewal, parish groups (Emaus and Effeta), Mana (a self-founded apostolic group) and Opus Dei. This last one is currently where both congregate and receive all their spiritual formation and guidance. Although they have much to learn, they are eager to share their testimony with all the readers.