There inevitably will come a time when you find that your character is being challenged – perhaps by someone you know, or even someone you don’t. For whatever reason, you’ll discover that non-truths have been said about you. Even when these fabrications are subtle, relating to circumstances or situations in which you are involved (rather than being about you, personally), it can be quite hurtful. Our human reaction is to defend ourselves, our loved ones, our actions, our reasoning. When our knee-jerk reaction is to fire back, argue, or return the challenge, it’s probably best to take a step back, gather in a deep breath, and count. To ten, twenty-five, one hundred, one thousand: Whatever it takes to see things without the red haze of anger or offense. Even better than counting is praying. It re-centers our thoughts, focuses our attention on what is really important (GOD – who always knows the real truth of any situation), and gives us time to get past the emotional reaction. Praying for patience is most appropriate in these circumstances. Repeatedly asking for this particular grace can result in pushing you onto the ‘high road’, leaving the trash-talk and bickering behind. At first it won’t be easy, but like any virtue, with practice and time, you’ll soon master the skill and be able to more carefully discern when a reaction is warranted and when it is not.
O Lord, grant me the virtue of patience, particularly when I feel annoyed by the little crosses of daily life and hurt by untruths, unfairness, or misunderstanding.