Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Patience IS a Virtue!

My oldest daughter is about two and a half weeks away from giving birth to my first grandchild.  Seeing pictures of her recently (she lives up north) brought back memories of my pregnancy with her.  I could hardly wait to see the miracle God was blessing us with!  My due date came and went.  Each day as I grew bigger, my patience grew smaller.  All the phone calls asking about contractions, water breaking and just wanting to know if I was in labor added to my growing impatience. My baby girl finally decided to grace this world two weeks late!  Think God was trying to teach me a little fortitude?  If I only knew then what I know now.

In today's Gospel (John 5:1-16), Jesus comes upon a crippled man who is the epitome of patience.  Talk about fortitude!

One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be well?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk." Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Patience is a difficult virtue to possess today.  We have become a culture of convenience and urgency.  Why call someone when you can text?  Wait in line at the grocery store? Nope. I had twelve items one time in a "10 items or less line" because I threw in a couple packs of gum.  The person behind me made sure I realized the correct item count.  I apologized for the five second delay I caused. Yes, our society needs a big lesson in patience. Not only patience with others, but ourselves, too.

In the August 2008 Monthly Message, Jesus lovingly encourages us to stay focused and patient:

“My dear ones, I am with you in your struggles. How can I help you to understand that your struggles are necessary to your holiness? Perhaps you should simply trust Me and view your struggles as evidence that I continue working to perfect your soul. If there were no struggle, My little apostles, there could be no possibility of advancement. This is a time to make great gains in holiness but gains are only possible with effort. I am making every effort toward you. Are you making efforts to move closer to Me? Ask yourself today and each day, ‘Where is God asking me to be holier today?’ Perhaps it is charity, perhaps patience, possibly trust, maybe you should practice concentrating on your holiness and refrain from examining the work needed in other souls.”

Opportunities to practice patience appear every day.  Whether it's waiting for the Tylenol to kick in for your headache or anticipating a return phone call, God provides circumstances to improve.  What can you do today to show patience?  Me?  About 10 minutes ago I text someone and didn't get a return answer yet . . . 

Thank you, Lord, for showing me patience in my struggles only leads to You and greater holiness.  Please grace me with the ability to see situations with Your Eyes, not mine.

God bless,

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