Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘patience’

Patience…Waiting on God

Years ago I remember telling my mother… “Patience is a virtue; try and cultivate it”. Well needless to say she did not much appreciate my advice. She was mothering a house full of children and I had just come home for a visit from the convent. She tolerated my enthusiasm and chalked it off to the time period of my life. You know that time when you have finally gone off to college and now you know everything…at least so you think.

I did have the right words…for patience is a virtue but it takes a life time to work on
cultivating it.

Patience is not only waiting, but keeping a good attitude while you wait.

I now experience patience while sitting in traffic, at the airport, at the doctor’s office. Today I am thinking about the patience I am feeling now as I wait for the Lord. A loved one is suffering and I patiently wait for God. I wait for God to call her home to his side to stroll with him in the heavenly gardens. I wait for God to restore her in his own resurrection of the body.

I patiently wait…sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do, but wait. Patience seems such a contradiction in our world of constant motion and instant texting.

The word “patience” is derived from the Latin word pati, which means to suffer, to endure, to bear.

My dad knew about patience. He was an avid fisherman. When fishing, most of the time is spent patiently waiting for a bite. The reward is sometimes a nice catch followed by a yummy fish dinner.

When my friend plants her vegetable garden she experiences patience. She must wait for the plants to blossom and the tomato to grow before it can be harvested.

Patience is the fourth Fruit of the Spirit. Gal.5: 22-23 Patience has unique qualities…waiting without complaining.

St. Augustine says, “Patience is the companion of wisdom”. Wisdom…more than acquiring knowledge; but rather the ability to discern inner qualities.

Most things in life worth having take patience…All good things come to those who wait. Is that in the Bible? Something close, I think…maybe a Proverb?

I experienced patience with each pregnancy… waiting for the birth of our sons.

Patience fills the kitchen with the aroma of coffee brewing or that single cup of steeping hot Jasmine tea.

Patience is about being submissive to God’s timing in our lives. Patience is about carving out a place in your heart to sit awhile. Patience is sitting with love when we do not have the answers. Patience is about accepting when things are not going according to our way. Patience is keeping watch while a loved one slowly slips away a little more each day.

Patience…

why is it a fruit  of the
Spirit?

Fruit, when ripe, has  a natural nourishing sweetness.

When will I be able to taste the sweetness of this fruit called Patience?

 

 

Jesus was patient even as his mother, Mary, urged him at the wedding feast of Cana to spare the couple embarrassment for running out of wine. Jesus was patiently waiting for ‘his time to come’. Jesus was patient with his disciples. Jesus is patient with me.

Patience is waiting for the rose bud to gently unfurl its petals. Patience is waiting for the delicate butterfly to fully emerge from the chrysalis. Patience is waiting for the storm to pass. Patience is waiting, after the rain, for the rainbow to arch across the sky.

Patience is waiting for God to call your loved one home from a lengthy illness.

I sometimes watch the tiny gecko on our bathroom window. It remains very still and patiently waits for a moth to flutter within reach. And then in a flash snatches the moth into its mouth. Patience.

I saw this on a poster…Patience is waiting until later for what you want now. Patience is waiting for God to lift your loved one into his eternal arms. Sometimes death is a blessing. I struggle with being impatient with God’s timing. I know we are never ready to lose a loved one, but it is agony to watch them suffer. I know God has a plan but this knowledge does not diminish the heart breaking pain. Patience.

Patience is the sculptor chiseling away at the block of stone bit by bit until the statue is revealed.

Patience is developed throughout our daily lives. Practicing Centering Prayer is one way that helps me to better appreciate patience. Just silently sitting…opening up my mind to the nothingness…just being in the moment…resting in the spirit.

Increase my patience, Lord. Grant me your peace within my soul. I thank you, Lord, for always being patient with me as I continue this journey. Shower me with your grace to carry on with trust and faith in your love. Scoop up my loved one into your arms and swiftly carry her home. Amen.

Soul Stirrings: Waiting in Silence

Holy Saturday is about silent waiting. Jesus has been laid in the tomb, wrapped in the traditional burial cloths, and sealed in darkness with a large stone. We wait in the stillness of his promise of Resurrection. It is as if we are between breaths, the emptiness between words on a page. We wait with Mary.

Perhaps the women knew best this holding…this pause in the Divine plan. The other apostles may have still been in fear for their own safety, but the women kept watch. The women kept the hope alive through their silent waiting.

The agony of the crucifixion left them all numb and now there was this awful time of waiting. This kind of waiting I have experienced with many loved ones; as they wait for test results. In real life this silent waiting period does not always end in the Resurrection we had hoped. Sometimes the Resurrection is delayed and we may need to sit inside this Holy Saturday state a bit longer.

The Blessed Mother finds herself waiting again just as she was before the birth of Jesus. Once again she surrenders to the will of God the Father.

A mother feels such intense pain deep within at the loss of a child; Mary undoubtedly felt this agony mixed with the promise of her beloved Son’s Resurrection.

How she must have longed to hear his voice one more time…to look into his precious loving eyes. How she must have longed to hold him once again in her arms.

She might have heard echoing in her memory the words Simeon spoke, “And your own soul a sword shall pierce”.

She waited patiently filled with hope, clinging to the words her son spoke of returning on the third day. In spite of the stone blocking her from entering into the tomb with him; she kept watch nearby. In spite of the darkness within the tomb, Mary clings to hope.

The Blessed Mother is a brilliant example for us of Faith, Hope, and Love.  

Today the church leaves us in the stillness of darkness and sorrow to contemplate that Jesus died for each of us. The church appears barren. We have no Mass, no Holy Communion, and no Adoration.

We wait with Mary in silence.

What are you WAITING for?

Advent Reflections Week 1:  

We have been waiting from the moment we were conceived. Who knows maybe we were even waiting to be conceived to just the right parents. Once we were conceived gestational waiting was only about nine months. While waiting we were a bundle of activity; our tiny bodies were developing at a remarkable rate.

Even while waiting much inner activity can be occurring; activity not seen externally. Waiting is not a time to fall asleep but a time to watch and keep vigil. A time to prepare for what will be after the waiting period ends.

Little children know the frustration of waiting for Christmas or their next birthday. Children eagerly wait to lose their first tooth…to start school…and later to go out on a first date…drive…get a job. So many things to wait for.

Sadly some are waiting for their next warm meal…a warm place to sleep…or a job.

Some are waiting for a test result hoping for a clean bill of health.

Some are waiting for a loved one to return home from military service.

The truth is we are all waiting for something.

The beauty of advent is that every year we are reminded that for Jesus to become flesh he too had to enter into the human gestational waiting period. He had to wait in the darkness of the womb of Mary.

Mary too had to wait amidst much joy and anxiety for this period of waiting to be completed. Mary and Jesus had to wait before their first physical embrace. Mary had to wait before she could gently caress Jesus and cradle him in her arms…lovingly gaze into his eyes…give him a butterfly kiss on the cheek.

Jesus had to wait before he could be about his father’s business. Jesus had to wait before his appointed time to fully embrace his divinity within his humanity. Jesus had to wait to choose his followers from varied walks of life. Jesus had to wait for his disciples to recognize and acknowledge who he was. Jesus had to wait for his Ressurection from the tomb.

As a pregnant mother waits she is also getting in touch with how her body is changing. She is bonding and growing to love this new life within. Advent is a time for us to get in touch with God, the Father, a time to bond our heart and soul to him. Advent is a time to consider our personal relationship with Jesus, the Son. Advent is a time to allow the Holy Spirit to overshadow us with unconditional Divine Love.

As you light the Advent candle of this first week, pray for the gifts that only waiting can bring. Gifts of patience and surrender for what is to come.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us, says Joseph Campbell.

There is so much inside of us waiting to be discovered, nurtured. Now is the time to truly let go and let God. The ‘day is at hand’ let us not miss what we are waiting for.

Darkness is waiting for light…Hatred for love…War for peace…Cold for warmth…Poverty for wealth…Broken for healing…Noise for silence…Winter for Spring…

Advent is a time to honor all that we are waiting for.

So I ask, “What are you waiting for?”   God is waiting for YOU!

May you be Blessed in all of your waiting.

We eagerly wait for your comments.

Lessons from the “Corpse Flower”

Last month for several days thousands of people watched on a web cam as an endangered tropical Sumatran plant came to life right before our eyes. “Lois”, her name, soon became the hottest thing in the museum and the city of Houston. Her horticulturist became an overnight “twitter” celebrity. People as far away as Japan were hungry for information about this rare giant beauty. Overnight it seemed a whole community was born to watch and wait together. Bloggers, Photographers, Twitterers,(is that a word?), Postings on Facebook, News Reports etc. Some would say we had all gone nuts over this plant. It gave some people a purpose for their day. Watching gave some an excuse for not getting their work done.

Lois started from a tiny walnut size tuber six years ago. No one can predict when or if the Corpse Flower” will bloom. Lois kept all of us watching and waiting. The museum would announce… …“Lois” has grown 4 inches today…she may reach up to 10 feet. Ten Feet! That’s material for science fiction movies. Remember the musical about the plant in the hair salon? That’s it “Little Shop of Horrors”.

“Lois” had a vivid bizarre beauty about her. Her bulging base, speckled in green, resembled an exquisite urn. Her giant petals neatly folded; pressed tightly together forming a corset holding her together. I could not help but be awestruck by the sheer imagination and creativity of our Creator. How anyone could look at this plant and not acknowledge the existence of God is beyond me.

“Lois” invited us all, through her rare beauty, to keep watch and wait. “Lois” was generating her own community. I’m sure some local ministers were jealous! Day after day the reports teased that today she would bloom; only to be followed by disappointment. Her time had not yet come.

Was God was using “Lois” to teach us all about patience? In our society everything is instant …food, messages, emails, information, etc. Patience is something we grow weary of quickly. Life is too busy to wait for anything! (or so we think) But thousands of us waited patiently for Lois to open her purple ruffled petals. We were captivated by something that spoke no words. We were forced to live in the present.

Finally after days of watching and waiting it happened…The petals that pressed so tightly hugging her for dear life began to gradually release. They unfurled revealing her inner beauty for us all to behold. It was like this rare giant blossom was lifting it’s “arms” to give praise to God. Wonder and Awe!!!

Along with this spectacular show of beauty came something so incongruent, but expected. There was wafting from “Lois” the awful smell of rotting garbage. She produces a stink in order to attract just the right beetle for pollination. I know how important fragrances are, but really this is almost humorous. Our God is not only creative, but he has one heck of a sense of humor too. Another reminder…appearances never tell the whole story. Hmmmm.

I could not help thinking about the effects sin has on my soul. No matter how beautiful the outside may be. We had this vivid contrast presented to us through our sense of sight and smell.

In the end “Lois” did not have the energy to fully open, but at least 50, 000 people stood in line to catch a glimpse of this rare endangered smelly “corpse flower”.

Yes, I was one of those who stood in line to view this living example of God’s creation.

One last note…we should all be concerned over the devastation of our rainforests throughout the world. Much more is endangered than this giant corpse flower.

Today give God praise and glory for the wonders of his creation.