29. Let us examine as to why a person sometimes
gets annoyed when he hears an insult, and other times he endures it without
getting agitated. What is the reason for this contrast? And is there one reason
or are there several? There are several reasons, although they are all born
from a main one. Sometimes it happens that after praying or completing a
benevolent exercise, the person finds himself in a kind spiritual disposition and
therefore, is amenable to his brother and doesnít get annoyed over his words.
It also happens that a person is partial to another, and as a consequence,
endures without any annoyance, everything that the individual inflicts upon
him. It also happens that a person may despise the individual who wants to
insult him, and therefore ignores him.
29. I will relate the following event. There was a
novice living in the cloister with me and whom I have never seen annoyed or
angry, even though he was plagued and insulted by many. This youth endured
everything as though it wasnít happening. Once I asked him to disclose to me
the thought that he retains in his heart that makes him so patient. He
responded with great contempt: "Why should I accept insults from them as I
would from humans? After all ó they are barking curs." Upon hearing this,
I staggered away and thought: "Some path this brother had found!"
Crossing myself, I departed, entreating God so that He would preserve him and
me from such thoughts. And so it happens that one
doesnít get annoyed because he despises the insulter, and this is obvious
29. People usually get annoyed either because they
are in a bad mood, or they are nurturing unpleasant thoughts about another.
However, the main reason for our annoyance is that we donít reproach ourselves:
this incurs spiritual disturbance and loss of inner peace. The true and genuine
path toward a calm disposition is continual self-reproach. Even if a person had
accomplished many good deeds yet doesnít hold fast to the path of
self-reproach, he will never cease being annoyed and insulting others, thereby
losing the fruits of his good labor. In contrast, what joy and tranquility that
person acquires who reproaches himself! Wherever he goes and whatever unpleasantness
happens, or whatever insults he hears; he has convinced himself beforehand that
he deserves all types of sorrows. Thatís why when something unpleasant does
happen, he doesnít get annoyed. What more sorrowless condition can there be?
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