Day #3: My Temperament
THE SOUL: In order to reform my heart I must study it intimately as it is, my good Mother. I look at it and I seem to see there a mass of confusion which doesn?t allow me to see it clearly. How full I am of darkness! You tell me what my temperament is, that is the fundamental character of my heart.
MARY: The temperament is the sum of the constant tendencies of the heart which propel it to act in the same way. You know your temperament from the defects into which you most often fall, from the spontaneous acts of your heart, from your habits …
Are you very easily given to anger, … do you get disturbed over nothing, do you react, show yourself offended? … Are you closed, taciturn, leaden; do you build so many castles in the air? … Are you insensitive, hard, egotistical, obstinate in your judgments? … Are you lazy, indolent, slow, negligent, pessimistic? … Do you see everything black and think that everyone is against you? Do you give too much weight to a word that innocently escapes from another and construe it to be an insinuation, an injury, a resentment? Do you easily hold a grudge, show resentment in small ways, react violently, backbite, grumble and even lie and calumniate? … Are you proud, full of yourself, vain, desirous of being admired, praised, given special consideration? … Are you greedy, attached to earthly things? Are you always looking for entertainment, ruminating about worldly ideals, hankering after your satisfactions, seeking after your tastes, complaining about your food, drink and clothing? … Examine yourself and where you perceive major lacks there you will discover your temperament and there is the field where you must exert more effort. It isn?t difficult to amend your ways; start a little at a time; begin to conquer yourself at least a few times every day
and you will see that your temperament will be modified and your heart will be changed.
ASPIRATION: O Mary, deliver me from the wretchedness of my character … from anger, from impatience …
LITTLE WORK: If it seems that a person who has offended you deserves to be reproved, don?t do it when you are still in a fit of anger, but wait until tomorrow to correct him.
About the Meditations
The daily School of Mary meditations come from the book, A Month with Mary, written by a holy Italian priest Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970). Originally written as spiritual thoughts to his spiritual daughter, the work is comprised of thirty-one meditations for the month of May.
Father Dolindo wrote A Month with Mary on pocket-sized pages joined into small fascicles of 8 to 12 pages. He sent them to Laura de Rosis every two to three days and later transcribed them with some modifications in volume III of his autobiography: The Story of My Life in the Plan of the Great Mercy of God, pp. 1140ff (cf. Epistolario 1:212n, 218n). This work is from 1912: one of those years which passed in the life of Father Dolindo with the cadence of a “Way of the Cross” … But he, serene as ever, loved Christ the more, loved Our Lady the more and reflected on this love in these few pages to which he wished to give the significant title: A Profound Reform of Heart in the School of Mary. These meditations are written in the style of the Imitation of Christ. (90pp. laminated gloss, saddle stitch)