On the Patience and Meekness of our Blessed Father
“The soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and they gathered the whole battalion before him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” Matt. 27:27-30
The kingly dignity of a Christian does not come from noble lineage or palaces, but from following the example of Christ, the meek Lamb, who endured patiently the mockery of His own creation. St. Dominic had a great love for these virtues, patience and meekness, as he saw them exemplified in the Passion of his Lord and King.
No earthly ruler would willingly choose a crown which would bring about shame and discomfort, but Christ submitted without complaint to the crown which tore his flesh. St. Dominic followed this noble example all his life. Whenever he was faced with suffering, through illness or through the actions of others, he endured it patiently without anger. Even when an Albigensian led him barefoot through sharp thorns he did not lose his patience, but responded so gently as to bring the man to conversion.
It was through St. Dominic’s meekness that he inherited sons and daughters over all the earth. He never sought greatness for himself, but aimed simply to do what was necessary for the salvation of souls. As Master of the Order, he governed in a most gentle fashion, correcting his friars in love and meekness, never ridiculing or acting impatiently with one who committed a fault.
Dominic desired his children, as he desired for himself, to imitate the virtues of their Lord and Savior. How do we fare in this regard? Do we respond with patience when we are inconvenienced or when we must wait for what we need? Do we respond to all we meet, both inside and outside the community, with the patience of our Holy Father? Is St. Dominic’s model of meekness in our minds when we receive or must give a correction?
Let us honor today the third sorrowful mystery of the Rosary, the Crowning with Thorns, and let us beg, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin and St. Dominic, the virtues of patience and meekness.