Advent Reflections (Day 16)

by | Dec 11, 2022 | Formation

Putting On the Virtue of Gentleness
December 12, 2022

Gentleness involves compassion for others. St. Vincent states that the missionary must be filled with compassion,1 particularly since he is called to serve the most miserable, the most abandoned, and those overwhelmed by spiritual and physical ills. He consistently links compassion with douceur. In the 12th rule for the Daughters of Charity he states: “Their principal concern shall be to serve the sick poor, treating them with compassion, gentleness, cordiality, respect, and devotion.”2 He tells the Daughters that their holiness consists in observing their rules well and in the right spirit by serving the poor with love, gentleness, and compassion.3 During the conference given on July 24, 1660, “On the Virtues of Louise de Marillac,” it was precisely this mixture of douceur and compassion that one of the sisters noted in Louise.4

1CCD XI, 77.
2CCD X, 331.
3CCD X, 353.
4CCD X, 727.

Source: Fr. Robert P. Maloney, C.M. A Further Look at “Gentleness”


Let us pray

Lord, may we practice gentleness and compassion, in the footsteps of St. Louise de Marillac.


Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

1 Kings 19:11-13

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