‘Watch Your Temper’ OR ‘Watch And Pray’
“It’s my dreadful temper! I try to cure it; I think I have, and then it breaks out worse than ever. O Marmee, what shall I do? What shall I do?” cried Jo in despair.
“Watch and pray, dear; never get tired of trying; and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault,” said Mrs. March, drawing the blowzy head to her shoulder, and kissing the wet cheek so tenderly that Jo cried harder than ever.
“You don’t know, you can’t guess how bad it is! It seems as if I could do anything when I’m in a passion; I get so savage, I could hurt any one and enjoy it. I’m afraid I shall do something dreadful in a temper some day and spoil my life and make everybody hate me. O Marmee, help me, do help me!”
“I will, my child, I will. Don’t cry so bitterly, but remember this day and resolve, with all your soul, that you will never know another like it. Jo, dear, we all have our temptations, some far greater than yours, and it often takes us all our lives to conquer them. You think your temper is the worst in the world; but mine used to be just like it.”
“Yours, Marmee? Why, you are never angry!”, and for the moment, Jo forgot remorse in surprise.
“I’ve been trying to cure my temper for 40 years and have only succeeded in controlling it. I am angry nearly every day of my life, Jo; but I have learned not to show it; I still hope to learn not to feel it, thought it may take another 40 years to do so.”
The patience and the humility of the face she loved so well was a better lesson to Jo than the wisest lecture, the sharpest reproof. She felt comforted at once by the sympathy and confidence given her; the knowledge that her own mother had a fault like hers and tried to mend it, made her own easier to bear and strengthened her resolution to cure it; though 40 years seemed rather a long time to watch and pray to a girl of 15.
Little Women ~ Ch. 8
“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” ~Mark 13: 31-33
Mother With Praying Child by Johann G.M. von Bremen( 1813-1886)
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