gentlenessHere is a Lenten invitation – In the liturgy, we recently retold the story of David and the five smooth stones with which he overcame the giant Goliath.

Vincent had his own take on the story and those 5 stones. He called them the virtues that anyone who wished to walk in the way of Vincent should practice. He called them simplicity, humility, meekness, mortification, and zeal.

Continuing our Monday reflections on Vincentian virtues, we look at Gentleness

Vincent reminded us

There are no people more constant and firm in doing good than those who are gentle and gracious.”

From Praying with Vincent de Paul Thomas McKenna


  • Do you try to resolve conflicts with gentleness?
  • Do you know when to be gentle and when to be forceful?
  • Do you know how to temper your anger so to be gentle in a given situation?

Some signs of growth

  • Appropriately expresses and controls anger
  • Is gentle and kind with others – even with those who are disagreeable
  • Is approachable and affable to others especially the most weak and vulnerable
  • Has good social skills – good manners
  • Is empathetic – can see and feel the world from the perspective of others, especially the poor
  • Avoids useless conflicts and arguments

Some signs for need growth

  • Does not express anger appropriately (e.g. sarcasm, gossip, hurtful words, bad moods, jokes with an edge, etc.)
  • Creates a tense and conflictive atmosphere
  • Argumentative
  • Often loses patience with others especially the poor
  • Have poor social skills – bad manners
  • Is avoided out of fear by others – especially the poor
  • Is disrespectful, rude and obnoxious