Meekness towards God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the Old Testament the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus meekness towards evil people means konwing God is permitting the injuries they inflict and that He will deliver His elect in His time.
Gentleness or meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all.
Quotes on Meekness/Gentleness
Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth. - Numbers 12:3
The Meek He will guide in judgement, and the meek will He teach in His way. - Psalms 25:9
But the meek shall inherit the earth: and shall delight themselves in abundance of peace. - Psalms 37:11
The Lord lifteth up the meek: he castesh the wicked down to the ground. - Psalm 147: 6
The Lord taketh pleasure in His people and He shall exalt the meek with salvation. - Psalms 149:4
Just as snow will not produce a name, or water a fire, or a thorn bush a fig, so a person’s will not be freed from demonic thoughts, words, and actions until it has purified itself inwardly, uniting watchfulness with the Jesus prayer, attaining humility and stillness of soul, and eagerly pressing forward on its path. But in its lack of spiritual understanding, the inattentive soul will be devoid of every good and perfect thought and barren and stupid as the mule. The soul’s true peace lies in the gentle name of Jesus and in it’s emptying itself of impassioned thoughts. - St. Hesychios the Priest
This kingdom is characterized, as we have shown by humility and gentleness of heart. It is a combination of these two qualities that constitutes the perfection of the person-created according to Christ. For every humble person is invaribly gentle and every gentle person is invaribly humble. A person is humble when when he realizes his very being is on loan to him. - St. Maximos the Confessor
Prayer is the flower of gentleness and freedom from anger. - Evagrios
Those seeking perfect gentleness must make every effort to avoid anger towards men, but also towards animals and even inanimate objects. - St. John Cassian
Gluttony tries to destroy self control, unchassity, moderation; avarice, voluntary poverty, anger, gentleness… - St. John Cassian
Unquestioning acceptance of tradition is helpful for a gentle person, for then he will not try God’s patience or often fall into sin. - St. Mark the Wrestler.
Each man’s knowledge is genuine to the extent that it is confirmed by gentleness, humility and love. - St. Mark the Wrestler.
Meekness is an unchanging state of mind, which both in honor and dishonor remains the same. Meekness consists in praying sincerely and undisturbedly in the face of afflictions from one’s neighbor. Meekness is a cliff rising from the sea of irritability, against which all the waves that strive against it break, but which is itself never broken. - St. John of the Ladder
Let them push you, but do not push; Let them crucify you, but do not crucify. Let them insult, but do not insult. Let them slander, but do not slander. Be meek, and do not be zealous in evil. - St. Isaac the Syrian
As fire is not extinguished by fire, so anger is not conquered by anger, but is made even more inflamed. But meekness often subdues even the most beastly enemies, softens them and pacifies them. - St. Tikhon of Zadonsk