Waiting on the Lord can be tough at times, especially in times of stress. Waiting on the Lord to provide sustenance, or direction, can seem like suffering in itself. Whether it is periods of unemployment, or waiting for medical results, the clock ticks slowly and it is easy for impatience to surface.
Patience requires an ability to corral our emotions, exercising composure and self-control (another virtue and fruit of the Holy Spirit). Saint Francis de Sales stated it best regarding why we should embrace patience, when he said:
…the more perfect our patience, the more perfectly do we possess our souls…It is by suffering and endurance that Our Lord saved us, and that it is [appropriate] that we too, on our part must work out our salvation by sufferings and affliction, bearing injuries, contradictions, and annoyances with the greatest calm and gentleness.1
Why should Jesus be the only one who suffers, especially when we are the ones who sin? Through the exercising of patience, we too carry our cross for Christ. We must wait on the Lord to deliver us from pain and strife. We must be patient with others when they annoy us, offering it up to God.
Thomas à Kempis sealed the deal for embracing patience in his book, The Imitation of Christ, when he wrote, “there is nothing that we can suffer for God that goes without merit…Without a conflict you cannot obtain the crown of patience.”2 Suffering, endurance and adversity have merit, when we offer it up to God. No pain, no gain. No patience, no crown!
How can we practice patience, especially when it seems so elusive? We’ll answer that question in our next reflection on the virtue of patience. Don’t miss it!
1 de Sales, Francis. Philothea: Or an Introduction to a Devout Life. p. 124, Charlotte: Tan Books. Print. 2010.
2 à Kempis, Thomas. Imitation of Christ. p. 139. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. Print 1993.
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