Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Day 9: Novena to Sts. Louis and Zelie, for all families

Public Domain

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 07/11/20

We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect.

The first word used [in St. Paul’s description of love] is makrothyméi. [Love is patient.]

This does not simply have to do with “enduring all things”, because we find that idea expressed at the end of the seventh verse. Its meaning is clarified by the Greek translation of the Old Testament, where we read that God is “slow to anger” (Ex 34:6; Num 14:18). It refers, then, to the quality of one who does not act on impulse and avoids giving offense.

We find this quality in the God of the Covenant, who calls us to imitate him also within the life of the family. Saint Paul’s texts using this word need to be read in the light of the Book of Wisdom (cf. 11:23; 12:2, 15-18), which extols God’s restraint, as leaving open the possibility of repentance, yet insists on his power, as revealed in his acts of mercy. God’s “patience”, shown in his mercy towards sinners, is a sign of his real power.

Being patient does not mean letting ourselves be constantly mistreated, tolerating physical aggression or allowing other people to use us.

We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and expect things to turn out our way. Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively.

Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angrily. We will end up incapable of living together, antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds. That is why the word of God tells us: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31).

Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are. It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be.

Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like.

(Reflection from Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia.)

Sts. Louis and Zelie, your life shows us that in this world, we cannot expect things to always turn out as we would like. And yet, in the midst of adversity, love can triumph. By your intercession, help us to live love as St. Paul describes it. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.




Read more:
Do you know what ‘meek’ of ‘meek and humble of heart’ really means?

Previous days of Novena:

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6,Day 7

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
2
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
3
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
4
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
5
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
7
peace
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.