Having a hard time controlling your temper? Or do you get easily irritated? Surprisingly, the virtue to temper these reactions is meekness. This virtue is often thought of as being weak when in fact it is to have a serenity of spirit while focusing on the needs of others.  

The inner calmness of the meek person doesn’t happen overnight. It is the fruit of a long, inner struggle to moderate anger, rash judgment and quickness of temper. Meekness is the experience of a well-disciplined soul. 

The meek person is not a “doormat” but is someone who knows when to walk away from gossip, injustices and ridicule. Most especially they know when to set boundaries by “shaking the dust” (Mark 6:11), leaving a group or not responding to taunting or peer pressure.  

The meek are blessed because they have endured illness, injury, or witnessed others suffering and are able to express empathy, acceptance, and understanding. They are self-possessed and fully alive with the fruits of the spirit—peace, joy, and self-control 

I would like to highlight a saint who exemplified meekness in her life. Identifying herself as a “tiny soul,” St. Therese of Lisieux became one of the Church’s greatest saints by trying to make every little action an act of love. She excelled in her vocation to love, even in loving those who irritated her. In fact, if she had not written an autobiography the world may not have known about her personal struggles and annoyances.  

She was truly an ordinary girl who became extraordinary through the grace of God and her practice of love and virtue. She had confidence that God would make her a saint because, in her words,

“I don’t count of my merits because I have none, but I trust in Him who is Virtue and Holiness. God alone, content with my weak efforts, will raise me to Himself and make me a saint, clothing me in His infinite merits.” 

What perfect meekness! May we all learn to model ourselves after this great, tiny saint.