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How our patience should be

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - April 23, 2018 - 12:00am

We cannot deny that we need to have patience, lots of it, in our life. Otherwise, we cannot survive beyond our young age. There are just so many difficulties, problems, issues and all sorts of predicaments that demand from us nothing less than patience -heroic, holy patience, in fact.

But we have to make sure our patience is not simply a matter of some practical advantage or purpose, with some ulterior motives. It should have a deeper source, a greater motive, a higher objective. It would be a pity if those occasions where patience is needed miss the chance to base and orient our patience properly.

And this can only mean that we pattern our patience after the patience of Christ who bore all our sins by going through his passion and death on the cross, all of this out of pure obedience to his Father and pure love for us.

In short, we have to have the mind and attitude of Christ when developing and practicing patience. It's only then that our patience acquires its true value and plays along the providence of God.

This can only be done when we have Christ vitally with us. We should continually ask for his grace for this purpose. In fact, the first thing we should do when we need to be patient is ask for God's grace.

And with God's grace, let us develop the pertinent attitudes, skills and virtues. Foremost among these would be a strong trust in God's providence that is accompanied by our all-out effort to handle our challenges. We have to learn to always defer to God's will and ways even if they appear to be against our reasoning and calculations.

We have to stretch our capacity to suffer, and even to suffer with a smile. After all when we suffer with Christ, everything will already be taken care of, irrespective of how things end.

In this regard, we can always take advantage of our daily events, already full of contradictions, to broaden and deepen our capacity to suffer out of love, which is what patience is all about.

We should practice restraint and moderation in our thoughts and reactions. Since our spontaneous reactions cannot be controlled, let's see to it we manage to correct ourselves or at least put ourselves in some cautious mode as soon as we can.

We should always be careful with our emotions, moods and passions. The same with the social trends and fashions that can trigger a mob response to situations, instead of a more human and charitable one.

Our words should be well thought out before they are uttered. More importantly, we should always arm ourselves with good intentions, the skill to discern whatever good there may be in any situation even if it is dominated by so much evil. This will make patience easy and even enjoyable.

We should avoid being dragged by negative thoughts whenever we encounter difficulties. We should be quick to react in a spiritual and supernatural way, always hopeful and optimistic even, deeply convinced that with Christ, everything will always work out for the good. Christ knows how to derive good from evil, how to resurrect the dead, etc.

Our patience should always be marked by peace and serenity. While the physical signs of pain and suffering cannot be avoided, we should try our best to refrain from falling into self-pity and subjective misery. True patience can only be lived with joy. A joyless patience is not true patience.

roycimagala@gmail.com

PATIENCE
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