I'm not always as punchy as I appear to be from some of these posts.
So, to show more of my serious side, here's something I found very inspiring, from the catholic eye newsletter:
With Thanksgiving just a few days behind us, I'm going to try to remember "in all things, give thanks" (1 Thess. 5:18). Not just the good things, not just the easy things, but all things, including the bickering kids, the mountains of laundry, the people who annoy me through no fault of their own, the traffic snarls. Christ in distressing disguise.
Another wisely holy Theresa, Blessed Theresa of Calcutta, often referred to difficult or unpleasant people as "Christ in distressing disguise". The unwanted things that happen to us, the hardships we face, the disappointments we encounter are potentially concealed blessings, "Christ in distressing disguise". (catholic eye, October 31, 2007, #261)
This, too, was inspiring and appropos today, from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis. From Chapter 44, "On Not Drawing To Ourselves Exterior Things":
It is also more profitable for you to look the other way from things that displease you, leaving to everyone to hold the opinion that seems best, rather than enter into heated disputes. If you are concerned only with God's view in the matter and are pleasing in His sight, you will consider it a small thing to be worsted in an argument.There's been some discussion lately about fights in the blogosphere. I'm not sure I'm familiar with all the dust-ups that sparked those posts (though I know about some of them), but perhaps we just need to follow the advice above, and "leave everyone to hold the opinion that seems best", in order to avoid those heated disputes.
The problem, of course, is that one person's "heated dispute" is another person's "fraternal correction".
In that case, refer to the first quote above, and remember that those other people, the wrongheaded ones, the uncharitable, mean, loud, disputing ones, are actually Christ in distressing disguise.
Perhaps that will make it easier to smile at them. UPDATE: Or me, of course, should I be distressing to you!