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Monday, January 9, 2012

A Lesson in Patience

When the Holy Spirit put it on my heart to transition back into the Catholic faith a year ago, I knew this journey would be one of extreme discomfort for not only me but those around me. I knew the journey would be a very painful one but never did I think for a moment this pain would continue to follow me even after I became once again fully Catholic. I was na├»ve enough to think there would be the strong possibility of my family embracing the faith as well or at the very least be understanding of my transition. Once I could show what a rich and full life the church could provide, others would follow.  But this was not to be and as others before me have experienced, I am convinced it will take an extreme amount of patience on my part for some time to come to be accepting of that realization.

We have all experienced those moments when we run out of patience and someone says “Patience is a Virtue”. According to Wikipedia: The seven heavenly virtues were derived from the Psychomachia ("Contest of the Soul"), an epic poem written by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (c. AD 410) entailing the battle of virtues and evil. The intense popularity of this work in the Middle Ages helped to spread the concept of "Holy Virtue" throughout Europe. Practicing these virtues is considered to protect one against temptation from the seven deadly sins, with each one having its counterpart. Due to this they are sometimes referred to as the contrary virtues. Each of the seven heavenly virtues matches a corresponding deadly sin.”

I heard a marvelous sermon not too long ago at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York by Archbishop Timothy Dolan on patience. He spoke of patience with ourselves, others and God. He mentioned patience with God is a difficult one as most of us when we pray want God to answer our prayers immediately and he likened it to us putting our request into the microwave oven and “zap” it is answered when in reality God puts it in a crockpot and lets it simmer a bit. My request for family to embrace the faith is in the crockpot and will probably simmer until there is no liquid left and the ingredients burn up!

Patience as defined in the dictionary says: