Who Am I (14)? Gentle and Harsh

Frustration is one trigger. When it rises above a certain level, all the gentleness I feel and love to express disappears. I am horrified to watch myself express harshness.

Harshness, Virtues and Vices, North Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion
Harshness (headless) depicted kicking a smaller person

My Prayer:

May my actions flow from a place of deep peace and trust. When I experience impatience, fear, or anger, help me to keep them from spilling over and harming others.

Scriptural Touchstone: 

…lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-2 (NRSV)

Gentleness, Virtues and Vices, North Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion
Gentleness depicted with a shield on which is found a lamb. (Gentle as a lamb)

For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh. Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. James 3:7-13 (NRSV)

Invitation To Pray:

Consider your last ten interactions. How many have been marked by gentleness? How many by harshness? What prayers are emerging in your body, mind, heart, and imagination? Pray them now.

Harshness and Gentleness, Virtues and Vices, North Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion
Gentleness and Harshness, North Porch

Photos:  Gentleness and harshness on the south porch are found on the south side of the second pillar to the right. They were carved between 1194-1230.

Other posts in this series that seeks to explore the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: Who are God? And who am I?
Anslem’s Spiritual Beatitudes:
Who Am I? (1) The Virtues and the Vices
Who Am I? (2) Beautiful
Who Am I? (3) Free!
Who Am I? (4) Honorable
Who Am I? (5) Joyful in the Deepest Sense of the Word
Who Am I? (6) Sensual
Who Am I? (7) Agile
Who Am I? (8) Strong

The Virtues and the Vices (Medieval Sculptures):
Who Am I? (9) Faithful and Unfaithful
Who Am I? (10) Hopeful and Despairing
Who Am I? (11) Giving and Greedy Who Am I? Centered and Lost
Who Am I? (12) Humble and Prideful
Who Am I? (13) Wise and Foolish

Jill K H Geoffrion

Serving as a contemplative Christian minister and artist by compassionately and creatively inspiring others to seek a deeper relationship with God and a more meaningful life of service.


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