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Meekness is a “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:23) The Lord Himself exhorts us to meekness by saying, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30)
How can we imitate the meekness of the Lord? Let us see what the Bible tells us about His conduct, “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.” (Isa 42:2-3) This is how Isaiah the great prophet describes the Lord prophetically. The picture we have here is of someone who is quiet, speaks in a low voice and is peaceful in dealing with others. In other words, someone who has subdued anger.
Saint Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:18, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
Today, anger is a very serious problem, in people of all ages. We have road rage, flight rage and rage without any cause. Movies and TV, computer games and even cartoons condition anger in people who watch them. No wonder that “Anger Management” courses have become a big business.

The Desert Fathers give us degrees of meekness. They correspond to the degrees of fruitfulness that the Lord spoke about in the parable of the sower, “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” (Matt 13:8) The first degree is not to repay evil with evil. Saint Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:17, “Recompense to no man evil for evil.”
Saint Peter tells us the same thing, “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called.” (1 Pet 3:9)
Our Lord was a perfect example of this, “Who, when he was reviled (insulted), reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” (1 Pet 2:23)
The second degree is to accept the insult without losing your internal peace. Some people refrain from repaying evil for evil but inside thy are boiling with anger. They are filled with thoughts of anger and the desire for revenge. These people have stopped short of the second degree of meekness. We have examples among the Fathers of the desert to illustrate that this second degree of meekness is possible.
Saint John Colobos was very famous, so that many people came to him to hear him. Another monk was envious of his fame, so he told him in front of those who gathered around him, “John, you are like a whore, exhibiting her body in front of her lovers.” John answered him, “Brother, you see my outside and say this about me, what would you say if you saw my inside?” The people around him asked him, where you agitated internally by the insult? He answered them, “What John feels on the outside is what he feels on the inside.”
Some monks from Syria, hearing about the fame of Egyptian monks came to an Egyptian monastery to see how the monks conducted themselves. It was the custom of the Egyptian monks to eat early if they had guests, in order not to force their own ascetism on others. So, when the table was set for the guests from Syria, they thought within themselves, “Those Egyptian monks are lax, we persevere without food till the end of the day, and here they are eating at the ninth hour!” The Abbot, perceiving within himself their thoughts decided to teach them a lesson. There was an old monk going around the table distributing bread to the brethren, so, when he came to the Abbot to offer him bread, the Abbot suddenly smacked him on the face so forcefully. The old monk continued to offer the bread with the same expression he had on his face before being smacked. The Syrian monks then prostrated themselves before the Abbot saying, “Forgive us Abba, for we can persevere without food longer but we cannot control our passions the way you do.”
The third degree is the person who is insulted and feels grieved that he caused a brother (or sister) to sin.


Once again, having taken permission of your Father in confession, turn to prayer. Ask the Lord to teach you how to be meek like Him. Tell Him, “Lord, you have said, learn from me for I am meek, teach me this meekness, so that I can find rest unto my soul.”
The next step is to reason with yourself in this way. Peace is a gift from the Lord to me, for it was He Who told us, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” (Joh 14:27) Every time you give in to anger, you are losing your peace, the precious gift that Christ gave to you personally. It is like taking this gift of Christ and throwing it away. Imagine if some bishop gave you a gift, would you throw it into the street? If the answer is no, how much more the gift of Christ, that you actually throw away each time you give in to anger.
Once you have put this disposition firmly in your mind, do the following exercise suggested by Theophan the Recluse: In the morning, after you have said your prayers, review in your mind all the situations that may arise and that may lead you to lose your peace. Imagine the worst case scenarios in your mind and then ask yourself, even if this happens, is it worth throwing away the precious gift of Christ? If you have done the previous step properly, your answer will be an emphatic NO!Resolve then within yourself that you will not let any of the things that you reviewed in your mind, should they happen, to disturb your peace.
My friend, let me tell you, it works!Years ago I read this exercise in a book called “Unseen Warfare” and decided to try it. The results exceeded my expectations. I give this exercise to many people. Those who take it seriously are amazed by the results.
A mother of four, who took the exercise seriously and followed it religiously, later told me, that her kids ask her, “Mom, are you sick or something?” She is not sick, she is just enjoying the gift of peace that Christ gives to each one of us, and which unfortunately we throw away ever so easily.
But the ultimate weapon to be confirmed in this state of internal peace can only be reached if you take the next step: “Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matt 5:44) Nothing confirms the peace of Christ in your heart like praying for people who hate you and hurt you. Again, take my word for it, it works. And if you do this with zeal, you will be able to reach the state of “loving your enemies,” which is commanded by the Lord in the same passage of Matthew 5:44.
People who have taken this admonition seriously, have been rewarded by a lasting peace that no one can take from them. Many years ago I knew a young man in Egypt, who had a very high position in a large organization. He was a Copt. Being a Christian in Egypt can sometimes be hazardous for you health, especially if you hold a coveted position!
This young man who worked in a remote area of Egypt, had a boss (vice president of the company) who was very fanatic. He made it his goal in life to kick out this Christian guy in order to bring someone of a different religion in his place. For years, he conspired to frame him in one crime or another. Many a time would the police come to investigate him for an anonymous complaint. One time the police chief (who was not Christian) told him, “someone around here wants to really harm you.”
When the attempts to put this young man in jail failed, his boss conspired to kill him!The young Copt learned that from the sympathetic police chief who told him in confidence, that someone had been paid money to kill him and that he should be careful not to go out after dark.
Throughout this ordeal, the young man prayed and read the Bible.
Every time he opened the Bible, there was Matthew 5:44 before him. He kept asking the Lord, Lord, do you really expect me to pray for this man who made my life miserable and now wants to kill me? Time and time again the answer in his heart was an emphatic yes.
After struggling with the idea, he decided to blindly follow what the Bible said. So, he started to pray for his boss. In the beginning he prayed only with his lips, not his heart. But, as he persevered in this exercise, something wonderful started to happen. He found himself truly praying for this person with his whole heart.
Feelings of animosity towards that person were soon replaced with feelings of pity!He started to think in himself, if I had not been born as a Christian, I would probably have done what this person is doing. A new meaning for the Lord’s saying, “yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (Joh 16:2) He started to feel sorry for the man. “This poor man thinks that he is doing the will of God by persecuting me, just like Paul of Tarsus, who thought that he was doing God a favour by destroying the church.” The young man said to himself, “It could have been me doing this, if it weren’t for the mercy of the Lord who chose me to be one of His own.” He started thanking the Lord for allowing him to be the persecuted rather than the persecutor.
He started doing good deeds to his persecutor, and earnestly asking God to forgive him.
One day, the president of the organization called the young man in his office and told him, “I found out what is happening to you and what .... (the vice president) has been doing to hurt you and I know the reason why he was doing these things to you. And I wanted you to be the first to know that I have fired him!” There was no joy in the heart of the young man. He felt sorry for the children that will wake up to find their father unemployed.
You too my friend can have unshakeable peace in your heart, if you take your Bible seriously, and follow these exercises diligently.

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