When I first saw the word meek I cringed. As a child and throughout adulthood I have been often called sweet. I have never liked being described as “sweet.” I have felt it a weak or meek adjective. I wanted a more empowering word. Sweet made me feel dismissed as does meek.
Over and over I come across that good Catholics are meek. Meek??!! Here it is defined:
meek /mēk/ adjective: quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.
“I used to call her Miss Mouse because she was so meek and mild”
I am Catholic; it was the faith I was born into. My parents were both born Catholic, but we were fair weather Catholics. We were the Catholic family that made the church so crowded on Christmas day. I attended catechism and received my childhood sacraments and the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church.
I decided if I choose to educate my kids in the Catholic Church to walk the walk. I am now teaching catechism, going to mass with my sons regularly, and attending a Catholic Bible study. I am re-learning what it means to be Catholic. I am enjoying this study, this process. My intention is– accepting Jesus and a deeper relationship with God.
I am doing this to be authentic for my sons…and I have learned to do this I must be meek. But, now I understand that meek is not weak. Meek is not to be dismissed. It takes a strong person to be meek. Here it is defined again, but the Catholic definition:
meek: The virtue that moderates anger and its disorderly effects. It is a form of temperance that controls every inordinate movement of resentment at another person’s character or behavior.
Source: Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life.
Meek means I do not lose it. Meek means I have strength, control and temperance in my actions despite others’ behavior towards me. It is what stops me from yelling at the top of my lungs at my children when they are unruly. It is what lets me forgive and let go of resentment. The meek are strong leaders. The meek stand up for what is right peacefully.
With this knowledge I crave to be a meek. As a parent (and wife!) it is a challenging attribute to be meek. Also, if those who have called me sweet meant I was kind and had peaceful, pleasing behavior; why have I felt dismissed being called sweet? Perhaps it meant I was the Catholic definition of meek.
Today, I will make my lifelong goal to be strong, sweet, and meek.
Note: Meek is in bold to show that it is a bold attribute to have!