Patience

Actually it is Psalm 26:14: “Expect the Lord, do manfully, and let thy heart take courage, and wait thou for the Lord.”

We are at 28½ years and counting. Actually we could go back forty five years, if we wish to go back to the first time We felt the call to the priesthood.

“He that is patient, is governed with much wisdom: but he that is impatient, exalteth his folly.” (Proverbs 14:29) We cannot get ahead of ourselves. We must wait on the Lord and His time and do things His way. Everyone wants to rush out and get it done yesterday. And what does impatience cause? It causes burn out, which leads to a loss of faith in many cases.

“We must first be purified and then purify others; be filled with wisdom and make others wise; become light and give light; be near to God and lead others to Him; be sanctified and sanctify; guide others by the hand and counsel them with knowledge.” (Saint Gregory Nanzianzen)

“The patient man is better than the valiant: and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh cities.” (Proverbs 16:32) We must learn to rule our own spirit before we can be of any use to anyone else.

 The Lesson is taken from the Treastise on the Benefits of Patience by St. Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr

Dearly beloved brethren, I am about to speak to you concerning patience and to set forth to you how useful and convenient a thing it is ; and how shall I begin better, than by saying that you will have need of patience to listen to me? Yea, your very hearing and learning cannot but be an exercise thereof. For, only when a sermon or soul-profiting teaching is patiently given ear to, can it profitably enter the heart. Dearly beloved brethren, there are divers paths of heavenly wisdom, wherein we are invited to walk, if we would reach in the end unto the reward wherewith God hath prepared to crown hope and faith ; but I find no path more sure to lead to life and glory than this, that while we humbly strive (in all fear and in all godliness) to obey the commandments of the Lord, we should set our chiefest guard in an unceasing watch over our patience. The philosophers of this world have also professed a kind of patience, but their patience is as false as their wisdom, for who can be wise or patient who knoweth nothing of God’s wisdom or God’s patience?

But as for us, dearly beloved brethren, we are the real philosophers, whose wisdom lieth not in words but in deeds ; and is manifested, not in the professional garb affected by the philosophers of our day, but in the truth which is eternal. We are they whose knowledge hath the inward consciousness, but our lives are the lives of servants and worshippers of God. Let it be ours, then, to shew forth by spiritual watchfulness, that patience which is a part of the teaching which we have learnt from heaven. Patience is one of God’s own virtues, whereof he hath made us partakers with him. Our great Head is the Captain of the patient ones ; for it is through patience that he hath crowned himself with glory and honour. Yea, God is himself the Source, the Increase, and the Dignity of patience ; and it behoveth man to love what is beloved of God. Thus God’s own Majesty commendeth to man a love of patience. Therefore, if God is to be to us both Lord and Father, let us follow after the ensample of his patience, since it behoveth servants to be obedient, and it is unbecoming in sons to be unworthy of their parentage.

By our patience God draweth us toward himself, and keepeth us his own. Patience doth soothe anger, bridle the tongue, govern the mind, keep peace, set rules of self-control, break the onset of lust, still the swelling of temper, put out the fire of begotten of hatred, make the rich meek, and relieve the need of the poor ; patience doth guard in virgins their blessed integrity ; in widows, their careful purity ; in such as be married their single-hearted love one toward the other. Patience doth teach such as be successful to be lowly-minded ; such as be unfortunate, to be brave ; and all to be gentle when they are wronged and insulted. Patience maketh a man soon to forgive them that trespass against him ; and if he have trespassed against any, long and humbly to ask his pardon. Patience doth fight down temptations, bear persecution, and endure unto the end in suffering, and in the uplifting of our testimony. Patience is the moat that guardeth the stout foundations of the castle of our faith.