I am concerned in this meditation with disagreements and rivalry.
In these things I must never be the first one to open fire.
As someone has said: "It takes two to make a quarrel, never be the first."
If no one ever begins ~ you can guess the rest. Should someone begin, however, don't be the second. It is unbelievable what bitter words two people can say to each other and what abominable tricks they can play when they no longer agree.
A good means to avoid a dispute is to know how to remain silent. When St. Monica's husband came home in a rage, she was very careful not to say anything. And this imperturbable serenity was a thousand times more effective than reproaches or attempts to bring him to time, which were decidedly inopportune as long as the storm lasted.
I must distrust my sensitiveness, hasty judgments, opinions formed more through passion than a sane view of persons and things. I must distrust decisions based on inclinations and groundless accusations; they are usually only the utterings of self-love, or unbridled pride which flies into a passion, or frequently, a misunderstanding of the exact situation.
An upright spirit; a noble heart; a good bit of intelligence and a great deal of charity - that is what assures peace.
"Lord, I wish to be as the Book of Proverbs counsels, Always more prompt to listen than to speak. And if someone speaks to me unkindly, I must carry out the counsel completely: I have not been the first, nor will I be the second."_________________
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)