I have a dim memory of one of my elementary school teachers writing on the blackboard, “Patience is a virtue.” (Would she be allowed to do that today?)
There is a gospel story about a women with an issue of blood, who touches the border of Jesus’s garment, and is healed. In the King James Version, Jesus says “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” (Luke 8:46) In the New International Version, Jesus says “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
Patience is power
Catholic Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) (declared “Venerable Fulton Sheen” by the Catholic Church in 2012) has something to say about patience that I find helpful:
Why are our minds impatient? Step 59 of Steps to Knowledge, “Today I will learn patience” says our minds are impatient because they are tormented, they are restless, and they seek their worth from temporary things. Our minds are tormented by our judgments of ourselves and others. Our minds are restless because they devote themselves to the care and feeding of the animal soul. Our minds are restless because they think dying with the most toys constitutes success.
What’s the remedy? Focus on long-term development. How long a term? They didn’t say, but I get the idea that it’s something I could spend the rest of my life working on. Observe one’s self more. Criticize one’s self less. This sounds to me like a recap of Step 29, “I will observe myself today to learn of Knowledge.” Strive to be more objective, so that we can be more certain.
What we’re headed toward in Steps to Knowledge might take some time. It seems to be part of the process to learn to enjoy the journey, or at least not suffer from it. Patience is a virtue. Patience is timing. Patience is power.
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