Hello dear reader, I am doing something new—some meditations on some of the different virtues of Saint Joan and Saint Therese.
That being said, this mediation will be on Saint Joan’s virtue of self-restraint cause, oh my, I think we could learn something, including myself, on this topic.
The first virtue we will be taking a looking at is self-restraint. What does self-restraint mean, though?
The restraint imposed by oneself on one’s own actions; self-control.
Oh do we all have issues with this? We can all ponder this extraordinary virtue under temperance.
Oh, often does a sharp tongue offend others and lead to hurt hearts and scandal? Sometimes it is out of ignorance. Sometimes it out of anger and sharp emotions. How quick we are to spitting daggers.
Saint Joan offers another way. Hold your tongue. Conduct yourself as you were always in front of God. Are we not all witnesses to each other? Aren’t our guardian angels constantly watching over us? Even when we think we are alone, isn’t God, the supreme being and maker, watching us and with us?
Saint Joan always conducted herself piously whether it was in her village as a young girl, on a military campaign, in the high courts of France, and most importantly in her trial.
Let’s face it. Saint Joan was innocent. She didn’t attack her judges. If anything, she was concerned for her judges’ eternal souls.
“You call yourself my judge,” She warned Cauchon, “beware of what you do, for truly I am sent by God, and you are putting yourself in great danger.”
This seems to be a dark warning, right? But in fact, she was warning her judge and superior, if you get this wrong… well, God is most certainly not mocked.
She didn’t rage against her accusers. She didn’t attack their person. If anything, she warned him that his eternal soul was at risk.
She could have been defiant, rude, shouted them down with names and foul language. Yet, all records state how this fierce young woman sat calmly on a bench, her hands in her laps for hours and hours on end as these judges berated and mocked her for hours on end.
She conducted herself with great self-restraint, not only in front of the churchmen but also in front of the angels and the almighty Lord.
It’s hard to practice self-restraint. It’s hard to stop ourselves from having the last word and last laugh. So let us take a second to ponder our following words, whether they are spoken or typed.
I know I have this issue. I feel like I need to get the last word in, especially in a religious debate. I love defending my faith, especially when I feel it is under attack, yet Saint Joan provides me a perfect example of grace and virtue.
“I refer you to the books! You have your answers there.” Saint Joan would remind her judges and “Get to the point.” And at times, at times, holding your tongue.
I’m sure Saint Joan wanted to wrangle people’s heads for attacking her faith. Sometimes, it is better to stand in silence, and that’s what she did when others mocked her! God judged those who mocked her, she knew what their fate was, let us not fall in that trap of falling in judgement due frustration and bitter feelings. Let other people reach their own conclusions. Didn’t St. Joan stand in her truth boldly, even to the point of her death? She didn’t attack her judges in her last moments.
She praised God in her very last moments. What a role model!
Let us pray that Saint Joan will help us to practice this fantastic virtue.
Thank you so much!