Patience and Passion
Some of the best wisdom comes from people in their old age, especially when death is approaching. St Benedict in his old age edited over the Rule he had written, when he was younger, for his monks, adding a few nuggetty bits of wisdom. One of the best was ‘for it is by patience that we share in the suffering of Christ.’ As Christians, the Cross is our sign of love in the most awful of circumstances and we know that we are called to carry our own cross, sharing in Christ’s self-giving love. When we think of a cross, we usually think of some hard, dramatic challenge. Yes, that sometimes is the case but St Benedict’s wisdom points us to a more mundane, realistic experience. More often than not we know our cross when we have to be patient with those around us.
The word for ‘patient’ shares the same Latin root as the word for ‘passion’ – which is a word that describes both strong emotion and the sufferings of Christ. The implication for us is that when we are being patient, kind, caring, even when we don’t feel like, or rather especially then, we are actually being passionately in love. Our best love may well be given in the most hidden of ways. And what is more, we are allowing the same gracious love that was unleashed in Christ’s passion to flow through us and be a reality in our families, friendships and community. This is our triumph of the Cross.
Loving Father, you know how those I love can try my patience. Send me your Holy Spirit that I might show in my loving the wisdom and strength that Jesus shows in his. I ask this in his name confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb