|Saint Claude La Colombière priant le Sacré-Cœur de Jésus by Octave 444 licensed under CC by-SA4.0|
"Death by a thousand paper cuts!" Today's saint was familiar with how we can be cut to ribbons by the little things. St. Claude la Colombière was a Jesuit priest from France in the 17th century. At the time, the Catholic Church was fighting Jansenism, which taught that we did not have free will. This is patently false because God gives us free will as a part of our human nature. We can freely choose what God wants: "God's free initiative demands man's free response" (CCC, 2002). So therefore, we can freely overcome the cuts and little things that annoy us by responding to God's grace.
He wrote: "All our life is sown with tiny thorns that produce in our hearts a thousand involuntary movements of hatred, envy, fear, impatience, a thousand little fleeting disappointments, a thousand slight worries, a thousand disturbances that momentarily alter our peace of soul. For example, a word escapes that should not have been spoken. Or someone utters another that offends us. A child inconveniences you. A bore stops you. You don't like the weather. Our work is not going according to plan. A piece of furniture is broken. A dress is torn. I know that these are not occasions for practicing very heroic virtue. But they would definitely be enough to acquire it if we really wished to."
How often do we lose our temper over little things? St. Claude teaches that these little things are great opportunities. It takes time to develop the virtues of patience and humility. God provides us with time. He allows us to endure the little cuts to bring us closer to him. "Far from allowing us to be depressed at the sight of our faults, it strengthens us in the idea of the infinite goodness of our Creator."