Patience, the Lost Virtue

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Patience, the Lost Virtue

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We yearn for unity with Christ. And as such, we have no patience with this world. We want to shake off this carnal exterior that we may set free our spirit and return home to our Father. But we forget He sent us here for a purpose. It is not enough to gaze upon Him on the Cross with tearful eyes – we must drink up His existence. He showed never-ending patience with this world. He came here among us to show love and patience with every soul He encountered. He followed Judas to his very last breath waiting for Judas to simply say “God forgive me.” That He may forgive Judas. This patience, born from Love, is mingled with His Body and His Blood. When we eat of His flesh and drink of His Blood, we take in this patience.

“For the Poor you shall always have.” Yes, the poor in spirit, the poor in guidance, the poor wretched souls who have lost their way and need help. We should not be quick to depart this existence, for in our selfish rush to return to the father – we may forget to bring with us those whom God sent us to help. Like the King who entrusted money to his three servants – the two that turned the gift into many gifts were rewarded even greater. Yes bring one, bring many. Yes bring poor, bring dirty. Yes bring the believer and the non-believer. In our haste to come to church, we may walk right by the beggar at the door. In our haste to rush to the altar to receive the Body and Blood, we leave the old person behind, the child in the wheel chair, the short in stature in the back. It is great that we so firmly believe that God will accept our repentance, and fill us with His Body and Blood that we rush to greet Him. Though it is a feast, it is not a buffet – in a meaning, we do not have the right to pick and choose that which you want to eat. Feasting on the Body of Christ is accepting Christ as a whole. And patience is one of His most valued virtues. For without it, He would have given up on us long ago.

Emails, cell phones, text-messaging, everything in our lives today is instant. When we gaze upon the cross we have the fore-knowledge of what is to come, so in truth, we have untested fake patience. The apostles, though foretold, knew not what was to come. Their Christ and Savior was gone. And for three days they waited, not realizing they were in fact waiting, for they merely did not know what they were to do next. Can you imagine what our level of patience would have been, based on today’s conditioning to instant answers? If God did not reveal Himself to us in the same timeframe we have grown accustomed to today, then we would simply depart. The devil has filled our lives with such instantaneous responses that we may forget that God works at His own timeframe, according to His own will – not ours. When you come to church, leave your cell phone in the car, for God will not use it to talk to you. When you come to church, leave your watch at home, for God has no time that can be measured by us and He certainly does not care about jeweler. Come to church, stripped of any device that says my time is more valuable than yours. Come with patience. If the liturgy is 5, 6, 7 hours long – so what! This is less than 5% of one week’s time. Our tithe is not just money, but patience as well. Lend Him your patience and your reward will be greater than any bank’s interest could ever match.

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