Sunday, 8 March 2009

On Patience

We are back at Oscott, the mothership, today, though it seems like we never left! The bishop will be up to visit us tomorrow, on our diocesan feast of St Felix which will be nice. I suppose that overrides Lenten obligations... any canon lawyers out there? On the train I took the opportunity to read our next bit from the Introduction to the Devout Life. The following selection was from yesterday's chapters, and I found it a challenging Lenten admonition!

Do not limit your patience to such or such kinds of injuries or afflictions, but extend it universally to all those which God may send you and permit to happen to you. There are some who are willing to suffer only those tribulations which are honourable - as, for example, to be wounded in battle, to be prisoners of war, to be ill-treated for religion, to be impoverished by some lawsuit in which they won their case - and these love not the tribulation, but the honour which it brings. He that is patient indeed and a true servant of God bears alike the tribulations which are accompanied with ignominy and those which are honourable. To be despised, reproved and accused by the wicked is a pleasure to a man of courage; but when a man is reproved, accused and ill-treated by the good, by his friends, by his relations, it is then that goodness is put to the test. I think more of the meekness with which the great St Charles Borromeo for a long time suffered the public rebukes, which a great preacher of a very austere Order uttered against him in the pulpit, than of the patience with which he bore all the attacks which he received from others. For just as the stings of bees are more painful than those of flies, so the evil which we receive at the hands of good men, and the contradictions which they cause, are much harder to bear than the others. And it happens very often, that two good men, having both a good intention, greatly persecute and contradict one another, because of the difference of their opinions.

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