Yesterday, I completely disappointed and embarrassed myself by getting into a very heated argument with a man in a parking lot. While I thought I was nobly stepping into a situation to defend one of my children from an unnecessary sharp verbal attack, my actions were angry and defensive and only served to escalate, rather than de-fuse, the situation. There was a lot of very foul language on both sides, and if not for a gentlemen who "suggested" (after letting us know he was a police officer) that we both back away, it might have gotten even uglier.
I have a hard time letting go of incidents like this- of course, it's usually not this bad- I'm talking about even minor arguments with friends or my wife. So I expect I'll be praying for my own peace of mind for several days. And, I really wonder if this other man might have taken his anger home with him and let it spill over into his own family-- I still consider what he did about my son and later with me indicated he might be something of a bully. So I expect I'll be praying for his peace of mind, too.
A little later in the evening I opened the book of daily meditations that I've referenced before, and of course words of wisdom poured out:
"We should not become discouraged at the sight of our defects. The Lord has taken them into account. He wants us to make the effort to overcome them... The Gospels are replete with examples of the personal defects of the Apostles... Whenever we have a glimpse of our many defects we should meditate on the lives of the saints. They had their defects as well. But they struggled against their defects with humility and ultimately achieved sanctity. This has been true despite personal faults that have led to unChristian behaviour, as we once saw in the case of St. John."
Thanks be to God.