Fr. Joseph M. Esper: How Did the Saints Handle Irritations?

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Photo by Sarah Mutter on Unsplash

By Fr. Joseph M. Esper, Catholic Exchange, April 27, 2020

Fr. Joseph Esper studied at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and at St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan. …

Forbear one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  Cf. Colossians 3:13

Fr. Joseph M. EsperIrritations are a chance for us to practice patience and grow in grace; and when you think about it, that’s really the smartest and most efficient way to handle them. If we can’t do anything about an irritating situation (and that’s often the case), we can at least make sure we derive some spiritual benefit from it — by turning it into a prayer.

No one would reasonably claim that coping with life’s minor problems and annoyances can begin to compare with enduring persecution, imprisonment, torture, and even death for the sake of Christ, as many saints have experienced throughout the ages and which Christians around the world continue to face today. Most of our crosses are relatively minor, so let us turn to the example of the saint who, more than any other, is known for growing in holiness by offering God all the small experiences of life: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who is famous for her “little way.”

Thérèse chose to become a saint without fuss or fanfare, by doing everything, however small or routine, with as much love as possible. This includes, of course, patiently bearing life’s irritations and annoyances.   ….

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