Reason for patience PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 May 2017 13:51



WHY do we have to be patient when faced with all sorts of suffering, be it physical, moral or spiritual? There can be many answers to this question, foremost of which, I think, is that it is what is expected of us—that is, expected of us by God. That simple.

Patience is understandably a very trying trait to have, a most difficult virtue to cultivate. It somehow goes against our common sense, our instinctive impulses. Some people have even regarded it as unnatural, as inhuman.

All these spontaneous reactions with respect to this

Reason for patienc virtue are understandable given our weakened condition. We tend to see things in a very limited and shallow way. It takes time and effort, and of course, God’s grace, before we get to see the true character and beauty of patience, and fathom its wisdom.

Somehow we are given a glimpse of the reason for patience through these words of St. James in his letter: “You will always have your trials, but when they come, try to treat them as a happy privilege.

“You understand that your faith is only put to the test to make you patient, but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become fully-developed, complete, with nothing missing.” (1,2-4)

But another reason for patience is that it somehow allows us to enjoy the power of God and to see his glory. In that episode, for example, of the man born blind (cfr Jn 9), the reason given by Christ to those who asked him about who was responsible or who sinned that the man was born blind, was, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (Jn 9,3)

Again, in that story of the raising of Lazarus to life (cfr Jn 11), Christ did not immediately go to see the dying Lazarus but somehow waited till Lazarus died. And the reason behind this behaviour could be found in his words:

“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (Jn 11,4)

We need to be quick to see the divine reason for every form of suffering that we can experience in life. Our reactions should not remain in the human and natural level alone. They should be guided by our faith in God and in his loving and wise providence.

And of course, if we look at the passion and death of Christ, the only reason we can find as to why Christ allowed himself to die in such a manner, is because of our need for our salvation. He bore all our sins, killed them with his death and gave us a new rebirth through his resurrection.

While we have to do everything to resolve all our predicaments in a human way, we should be quick to react with patience to all our trials and difficulties. That way, we become more and more like Christ who is the very pattern of our humanity, the redeemer of our damaged humanity.