One can wonder if we try even half as hard as he did to vanquish our bad habits.
Keeping a calm temper is a challenge no matter our state in life. Parents of small children might especially know the struggle, but it is a difficulty that sneaks into every stage and vocation.
Even Padre Pio had to work on it, but seeing him put so much effort into gaining this virtue, and finding some growth in the process, is encouraging. We might ask ourselves if we give so much effort to growing in virtue, or do we resign ourselves to our bad habits?
My one regret is that, without wanting to or noticing that I am doing it, it happens sometimes that I raise my voice a little in matters touching on correction. I know this is a reprehensible weakness, but how can I avoid it, if it happens without my noticing it? And yet I pray, groan and complain to Our Lord about it; he has not yet answered me fully. Even though I keep a vigilant lookout for this fault, I sometimes do what I loathe and want to avoid doing.
And also, in a note to his spiritual director:
That fine lady, sweet-temperedness, seems to be doing a bit better; but I’m not satisfied. I don’t want to lose heart, however. I have made many promises to Jesus and Mary, my Father! Through their help I desire to practice this virtue; and in exchange, other than keeping up the other promises I have made them, I have promised to meditate faithfully on this same virtue and to talk to souls about it. You see, Father, that I am not indifferent to the practice of this virtue. Help me with your prayers and the prayers of others.
These excerpts and many others can be found in a collection compiled by the pope’s preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, here.