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Monday, February 27, 2012
Lenten Daily Dose - 1st Monday
If I want to receive the virtue of patience, all I have to do is be patient.....REALLY?
During Father Craig’s homily on Ash Wednesday, he noted that it was no coincidence (maybe a God-incidence instead) that the Cardinals were reporting to Spring Training the same time that Lent was starting. He also noted that the Opening Day for the Cardinals was April 4 in Miami, and April 13 here in St. Louis, eerily close to when Easter is celebrated this year on April 8. He spoke of Chris Carpenter warming up his arm and working out his pitches and Mike Matheny working on his signs. They are all working on the things they need to do to get ready for the season and work out the kinks. Lent is our “Spring Training”, where we can work on those things that can get us ready spiritually for the game of life and the after life.
What do I need to work on in my swing? PATIENCE. I recently had someone tell me that I needed to change my “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach to life. Patience is hard. At first I thought that working on patience meant that I had to grit me teeth, stand idle, not say a word and let things just happen. Not sure that is it. I am definitely sure that there is not an overnight cure or some simple and quick process to install patience. I found that you have to be patient and work on it over time, and really become more of Him and less of me.
There was a writing on the Word Among Us website (www.wau.org) a few years back that started me looking at it a little differently. It read: PATIENCE The key is to realize where patience comes from. We can’t create patience ourselves. It is a gift from God, a virtue, a tool that he gives us to help us become more like him. Real patience doesn’t come from gritting our teeth and just coping with a difficult person. It comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit. When we love with his perfect love, we won’t be so intent on finding fault with those around us; we’ll be too busy trying to serve them.
If we could stop just long enough to let Jesus love us, we would find the grace to deal with those who irritate us, and more importantly, to change our attitudes toward them. What’s more, we will become the kind of people who bring patience and kindness to others.
If you have a problem with patience, begin by trying to be a little more patient with God. Take the time in prayer to slow down and listen for his voice. Perhaps Jesus wants to say something important to you. Perhaps he just wants to say, “I love you.” Whatever it is, his word has the power to calm your racing mind. If we could spend just a few extra minutes in prayer each day, waiting on the Lord, it could make a huge difference—both to us and to the people we’re going to meet!
(Looking for an opportunity to slow down, ADORATION THIS FRIDAY, MARY QUEEN OF PEACE CHURCH.) My other favorite line on patience comes from the movie Evan Almighty. God, played by Morgan Freeman who is a waiter at the time, says the following:
Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDDqCgV9jWo&feature=related