Reading – James 5:7-9
Feast of Saint Monica
An icon of Saint Monica, mother of Saint Augustine and a true practicer of the virtue of patience.
This phrase more or less forced itself into my mind with how often James repeated it in this short passage. Patience, as the cliche goes, is a virtue. This patience, however, does not complain of its wait or irritably snap at others during it, nor does it resign itself to every injustice of the world and allow the exploitation of others.
Perhaps these misconceptions of patience are what keep so many people from seeking to cultivate the virtue, that and our natural tendency – exacerbated by our hi-tech culture – to get through things as quickly and painlessly as possible.
True patience, I believe, accepts burdens on itself for the sake of others yet calls attention to the problems of the day and of society. Patient people do not seek quick fixes to these deep-rooted issues but rather commit themselves to prolonged, sometimes arduous efforts to address and, some day, resolve them, always keeping hope in God and wisely sharing and passing on their work to the next generation.
Patience makes itself available, most of all to the Divine and the Divine “timeline,” confusing and scary as that complete absence of time is. Patience, to me, is simply there, waiting and working in love.
Grant us patience, Lord, patience like that of Saint Monica. Saint Monica, pray for us, please. Thank you, Lord. ~