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Patience – Endurance, staying power, to know how to wait. It sounds so good on paper, but its one of the hardest thing to practice.
We should not have everything we want. That would be what St. Francis would tell us. But in practice, with today’s technology we can obtain anything we would dream of literally at the touch of a button. You go on line, find whatever it may be – from an exotic living bird to an old Ford hubcap- pay by Visa or Master card and you don’t even really need to go further than your mailbox to pick it up.
But all these things at your fingertips can be a little deceptive. Because to obtain things that really matter, we need to learn how to wait. Our Lord did not come to redeem us until many centuries after Adam sinned. And we have to persevere, remaining faithful every day, to attain a Kingdom that we will not get, until God is satisfied with our period of trial here below.
Often times we pray and think that what we desire we can attain from God as quickly and efficiently as giving our credit card info on the web. And if God would take credit cards, we would certainly be willing to charge a card to speed up an answer to our prayers. . . but He tries us. He makes us wait. He wants to see if we will continue to ask Him. He wants to know if we have true hope in Him.
In the end, it’s to our advantage to get what we want, and to get it now. But the life of virtue is not about getting what we want now.
On the other hand, the person who can learn how to wait is blessed by many virtues: hope, perseverance, trust, patience, confidence . . . the list goes on.
Simeon and Anna had these virtues. They had a never ending perseverance in prayer and hope in God. And they were blessed to see an answer to their prayers and fasting. They acquired a daughter long after Anna was past the usual time of ever conceiving a child. Then that child begot a son and everybody else went about their busy lives never having a clue that the Carpenter’s Son was God Himself.
In August 2008, when I started the quest for justice, it was a very difficult time. No English-speaking lawyer can immediately be found because the court was on summer break and most of the lawyers had also gone for holiday.
Then came the Feast of Ramadan and the Eid causing more delays. Afterwards, friends were already asking whether we will get what we want because the complaint we forwarded to the Police were ignored several times and finally, the embassy in the person of Vice Consul DIngal interfered by sending the ambassador’s car to intervene with this quest.
Some had started to lose hope especially when a year had passed and still nothing happened. I did not! Though I cannot articulate the belief especially because it is difficult to speak about things where one does not have proof, only a conviction of the rightness of things. It had happened to me before and doubtless will happen again.
Now more than a year had passed, yet and still, nothing had happened. My husband already expressed the conviction that perhaps it is better to give up since it would be arrogance to imagine that things will change because of the effort that we have put into this fight.
He told me that perhaps God does not want us to believe that we can change things because by then pride will make us imagine that it was through our own efforts that the change had come.
I do not agree. First, because so far I have not felt that I had become puffed-up with pride. Second, to give up would be to allow the wrongdoing to continue.