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Posts Tagged ‘Patience’

Love is…

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2016/09/09 at 12:00 AM

St. Gregory the Great comment in his work, Moralia 10.7-8 re St. Paul’s I Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, because it bears serenely the injury it suffers.

It is kind, because it repays evil with good.

It is not jealous, because it covets nothing in this world: it does not know what it is to envy worldly prosperity.

It is not boastful, because it yearns only for spiritual reward, and it is not carried away by external things.

It is not arrogant, because it thrives only on the love of God and neighbor and avoids whatever would take it from the path of righteousness.

It is not coveousts, because although it ardently pursues its own spiritual goals, it does not desire the goods of others.

It does not insist on its own way, because it scorns as as lien those things it temporarily possess here below: it seeks to hold on only to what is enduring.

It is not irritable and even though injuries seek to provoke it, it does not let itself have any desire for vengeance, for no matter how difficult a time it may have in this life, it hopes for greater rewards in the next.

It is not resentful, because it has invested its thought in the love of purity, and having rooted out all hatred, it is incapable of harboring in its heart any type of aversion.

It does not rejoice at wrong, because it feels affection for others and does not rejoice in seeing the ruin of its enemies.

It rejoices in the right, because by loving other as it loves itself, it is pleased to see goodness in them as if it were indeed something to its own personal advantage.

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“Serenity. Why lose your temper?”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/11/06 at 12:00 AM
Serenity. Why lose your temper if by doing so you offend God, annoy other people, upset yourself… and have to find it again in the end? (The Way, 8)

Say what you have just said, but in a different tone, without anger, and your argument will gain in strength and, above all, you won’t offend God. (The Way, 9)

Never correct anyone while you are still indignant about a fault committed. Wait until the next day, or even longer. And then, calmly, and with a purer intention, make your reprimand. You will gain more by one friendly word than by a three-hour quarrel. Control your temper. (The Way, 10)

As soon as you truly abandon yourself in the Lord, you will know how to be content with whatever happens. You will not lose your peace if your undertakings do not turn out the way you hoped, even if you have put everything into them, and used all the means necessary. For they will have turned out the way God wants them to. (Furrow, 860)

When the good of your neighbour is at stake you cannot remain silent. But speak in a kindly way, with due moderation and without losing your temper. (The Forge, 960)

“We have to be strong and patient and, therefore, calm and composed”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/04/10 at 12:00 AM
If you fix your sight on God and thus know how to keep calm in the face of worries; if you can forget petty things, jealousies and envies, you will save a lot of energy, which you need if you are to work effectively in the service of men. (Furrow, 856)

The man who knows how to be strong will not be in a hurry to receive the reward of his virtue. He is patient. Indeed it is fortitude that teaches us to appreciate the human and divine virtue of patience. ‘“By your patience you will gain possession of your souls.” (Luke 21:19) The possession of the soul is attributed to patience, which in effect is the root and guardian of all the virtues. We secure possession of our souls through patience, for, by learning to have dominion over ourselves, we begin to possess that which we are.’ And it is this very patience that moves us to be understanding with others, for we are convinced that souls, like good wine, improve with time.

We have to be strong and patient and, therefore, calm and composed, but not with the composure of the man who buys his own tranquility at the expense of ignoring his brothers or neglecting the great task (which falls to us all) of tirelessly spreading good throughout the world. We can keep calm because there is always forgiveness and because there is a solution for everything, except death; and for the children of God, death is life. We must try to keep our peace, even if only so as to act intelligently, since the man who remains calm is able to think, to study the pros and cons, to examine judiciously the outcome of the actions he is about to undertake. He then plays his part calmly and decisively. (Friends of God, 78-79)

Rejoicing

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2014/12/19 at 12:00 AM

You will note that, instead of the penitential violet that I’ve been wearing for the past two weeks of Advent, today I am wearing rose. As well, the single rose-colored candle on our Advent wreath is lit.

This is because today is Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word that means: “rejoice,” and the color rose symbolizes our rejoicing! In the midst of this season of penance and expectation, today Holy Mother Church calls us to rejoice on this day – for Jesus is near!

Today we use the color rose as a sign of our hope in Christ and the deep and abiding joy that we should have in Him and in His power to save us from our sins.

Throughout the course of Advent, the readings and prayers of Mass help us prepare for our Lord’s coming – both as man in the Incarnation and His second coming, when He will come in glory with all the angels and saints to bring salvation to those who love Him.

Thus, in all of the readings we hear at Mass during Advent there is an undertone of hope. We see this especially today in the first reading from Isaiah in which we are told that our Lord will come with vindication in order to save us.

Isaiah tells us that even nature itself will anticipate the time of the Lord’s coming as the desert and parched land exult, and the steppe rejoices and blooms with abundant flowers.

But more importantly, Isaiah speaks of the miracles that will accompany the coming of the Messiah, namely that “the eyes of the blind [will] be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, [and] the tongue of the mute sing.”

And in our Gospel we hear Jesus refer to this prophesy to confirm that He is indeed this long- awaited Messiah as He sends the message to St. John the Baptist: “the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”

Just as Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophesies of Isaiah by His virginal birth and the miracles He worked, it is our firm and confident hope that our Lord will fulfill His promise of salvation when He comes again at the end of time, and that hope leads us to rejoice today.

But the hope we bear today as we await our Lord’s coming is not something that just springs up on its own because we’ve heard these readings.

The mere knowledge of the Savior’s existence and His imminent coming does not engender hope in the hearts of most of us. We must prepare our hard hearts to hope in God by using the spades of fasting, penance, and sacrifice to dig out the stones of sin and indifference.

Truly, how many of us who profess belief in Jesus and in His power to save us remain unmoved in faith or hope by this holy season of Advent or the beauty of Christmas?

Sadly, there are plenty of Christians today who plunge head long into the soul-numbing materialism of this season with very little thought for this season’s true meaning.

Rather than honoring Advent as a season of penance, fasting, and prayer, so many of us treat it as an early celebration of Christmas, feasting and celebrating, and concerning ourselves more with preparing our homes for Christmas rather than preparing our souls for Christ.

This focus on materialism deadens our love for God and makes us indifferent to Him. When we place our hopes on the things of this world or the gifts under our Christmas tree, we quickly begin to believe that we no longer need God. That’s our human nature.

While today and the major feast days of this season are days of feasting and celebration, we must strive nonetheless to maintain some sense of penance and fasting in Advent, some sense of simplicity, because penance and fasting help to engender within our souls the hope that is proper to this season.

Hope, like all virtues, is delicate and fragile as it begins to take root in our souls. Like a
gentle flame that is easily extinguished, hope must be protected from the winds of pessimism,
doubt, and materialism that can lead us to place our trust in something other than God.

In order to stand fast against those things that can extinguish our hope in God, we must
strengthen the virtue of hope within us through the practices of prayer, fasting, and penance.

Whereas prayer helps us to know and love God, fasting and penance help us to find joy inHim. By stripping away other joys in which we might be tempted to take more delight than we do in God, penance and fasting helps us to focus on God as our supreme joy!

Thus, fasting and penance give rise to hope; they prepare our hearts to hope in the Lord.  This is precisely why I asked you to do a little fasting this Advent, especially during the first 9 days of this month as we were praying our novena in preparation for the consecration of our parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

While fasting and penance strengthen our prayers and make them even more acceptable to God, fasting and penance also focus our attention more squarely upon Him! And in focusing on our Lord all the more intently, we come to love and desire Him all the more!

It’s also for this reason that we are counseled by St. James to be patient until the coming of the Lord. Waiting patiently is it’s own form of penance.

But there’s also a certain joy we experience when anticipating the arrival of a loved one. We naturally get excited at the thought of a loved one’s coming, especially if we haven’t seen him for a long time or if he’s coming from a long way away.

Thus, Advent should produce a certain anticipatory joy within our souls as we await the coming of Jesus! But this can only happen fully if we await our Lord in a spirit of fasting and penance, rather than indulging in the joys of Christmas early!

In a sense during Advent the Catholic soul is called to be like an engaged couple, who courageously practicing the virtue of chastity before their marriage, enjoys the expectation of nuptial bliss that marriage will bring.

It takes restraint and discipline not to indulge in the rights of marriage when one is engaged, but doing so creates its own joy of anticipation, and it increases the joy of the wedding night.

Refraining from the joy until the proper time makes the joy all the more enjoyable when that proper time comes! The same is true for Advent!

While some amount of feasting during Advent is appropriate – such as on a day like today – and because it’s nearly impossible in our cultural milieu to avoid parties altogether this time of the year, it’s important for us to maintain a spirit of fasting and penance during Advent.

So in the 10 days that remain before the great feast of Christmas, let us all make it a point to take on some special form of fasting or to make some extra sacrifices in order to better prepare for our Lord’s coming. Let us strive for a little simplicity in our lives!

Let us strive to forget the things of this world and focus our attention solely on our Lord. The great Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross once wrote: “Forget the creature; remember the Creator. Study the interior life, and enjoy love’s summation.” May we heed his advice as a means of preparing for our Lord’s coming.

Let us trust that by our fasting and penances, our hearts will grow in hope, and our souls will be even more fitting places in which our Lord may dwell.

O Mary, Mother of Holy Hope and Virgin Most Powerful, pray for us!
15 December 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

“Mary teaches us to have charity”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/05/23 at 12:00 AM
In the hour of rejection at the Cross, the Virgin Mary is there by her Son, willing to go through the same fate. Let us lose our fear of behaving like responsible Christians when the environment in which we move is not easy. She will help us. (Furrow, 977)

What a contrast between Our Lady’s hope and our own impatience! So often we call upon God to reward us at once for any little good we have done. No sooner does the first difficulty appear than we start to complain. Often we are incapable of sustaining our efforts, of keeping our hope alive. Why? Because we lack faith. ‘Blessed art thou for thy believing; the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfillment.’

She teaches us to have charity. Remember the scene of the presentation of Jesus in the temple. An old man, Simeon, ‘said to his mother Mary, Behold, this child is destined to bring about the fall of many and the rise of many in Israel; and to be a sign which men will refuse to acknowledge; and so the thoughts of many hearts shall be made manifest; as for your own soul, it shall have a sword to pierce it.’ So great is Mary’s love for all mankind that she, too, fulfilled Christ’s words when he affirmed: ‘Greater love has no man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends.’ (Friends of God, 286)

“Do what you ought and concentrate on what you are doing”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/01/16 at 12:00 AM
Do everything for Love. Thus there will be no little things: everything will be big. Perseverance in little things for Love is heroism. (The Way, 813)

Do you really want to be a saint? Carry out the little duty of each moment: do what you ought and concentrate on what you are doing. (The Way, 815)

‘Great’ holiness consists in carrying out the ‘little duties’ of each moment. (The Way, 817)

You tell me: when the chance comes to do something big, then!… Then? Are you seriously trying to convince me–and to convince yourself–that you will be able to win in the supernatural Olympics without daily preparation, without training? (The Way, 822)

Have you seen how that imposing building was built? One brick upon another. Thousands. But, one by one. And bags of cement, one by one. And blocks of stone, each of them insignificant compared with the massive whole. And beams of steel. And men working, the same hours, day after day… Have you seen how that imposing building was built?… By dint of little things! (The Way, 823)

Have you noticed how human love consists of little things? Well, divine Love also consists of little things. (The Way, 824

“We have to be strong and patient and, therefore, calm and composed”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/08/08 at 9:11 AM
If you fix your sight on God and thus know how to keep calm in the face of worries; if you can forget petty things, jealousies and envies, you will save a lot of energy, which you need if you are to work effectively in the service of men. (Furrow, 856)

The man who knows how to be strong will not be in a hurry to receive the reward of his virtue. He is patient. Indeed it is fortitude that teaches us to appreciate the human and divine virtue of patience. ‘“By your patience you will gain possession of your souls.” (Luke 21:19) The possession of the soul is attributed to patience, which in effect is the root and guardian of all the virtues. We secure possession of our souls through patience, for, by learning to have dominion over ourselves, we begin to possess that which we are.’ And it is this very patience that moves us to be understanding with others, for we are convinced that souls, like good wine, improve with time.

We have to be strong and patient and, therefore, calm and composed, but not with the composure of the man who buys his own tranquility at the expense of ignoring his brothers or neglecting the great task (which falls to us all) of tirelessly spreading good throughout the world. We can keep calm because there is always forgiveness and because there is a solution for everything, except death; and for the children of God, death is life. We must try to keep our peace, even if only so as to act intelligently, since the man who remains calm is able to think, to study the pros and cons, to examine judiciously the outcome of the actions he is about to undertake. He then plays his part calmly and decisively. (Friends of God, 78-79)