In patience, possess your souls.
Patience is the endurance of tribulation out
of the love of God, and being willing to see
God in all circumstances. The offices of
patience are as varied as the ills of this life.
We need patience with ourself and with
others; both with our authorities and those
that we govern, not forget with our own
equals. We need it with those who love us
and those who do not. We need
it with big things and small things, against
the sudden inroads of trouble, whether it
be from the weather or a broken heart.
We need it when our body is tired and
when our soul is tired, when we have
failed others and others have failed us,
when we are sick and as we get old;
in disappointment, loss, injury, reproach;
when our hopes are delayed and even
we are tired of the ever present struggle
All of these things are endured by
patience because we love God and
want to be found to be pleasing to Him.
All other virtues have need of patience
to perfect them. Patience puts herself
between every dart that the Evil One
throws at us. Patience is the root
and guardian of all virtue.
Impatience is like waves troubling a smooth
pond, hindering the perfect image
of Christ from being seen. It makes
the soul either outrun or fall short of
the perfect will of God. Impatience
will not listen, heeds nothing, fears
nothing, hopes nothing, judges nothing
correctly, does not persevere, except
in being restless! It shakes every
virtue and enters into almost every
sin. Impatience made Cain a murderer,
and Absalom a father-killer and
Judas a Christ-killer.
How does impatience shake one's faith
and cause one to be impatient
with the world, the church or one's own
self! It chills love and extinguish's hope.
It blights humility, quenches long suffering,
mars gentleness. Impatience of bodily
wants, leads people into drug, drink,
illicit sex, and leads them to lie,
cheat, and steal.
"In patience," our Lord says, "possess
your souls." What does this mean?
It means to lead all our emotions,
decisions, and needs to the grace of God
so that He can command us.
In the world, when someone is
disciplined and has a clear, steady
commands of things, we call him
"self-possessed." We have need
of that same single-mindedness but
not fueled by human will power but
by the Spirit of God. "It is not by
might nor power, but by My Spirit,"
says the Lord. So let patience
have her perfect work in you
and you shall be found pleasing
in the sight of God.
adapted and abridged from
"New Helps for a Holy Lent"
by Frederick D. Huntington, 1886