Father's reflection

3rd Sunday of Advent - Mt 11:2-11
  • Tanquerey in The Spiritual Life defines patience as “a Christian virtue that makes us withstand with equanimity of soul, for the love of God, and in union with Jesus Christ, all physical and moral sufferings” (§1088). This is patience as a supernatural virtue.
    • The good we wait for is eternal life.
    • The matter of patience is any kind of suffering, whether physical or mental.
    • The motive for patience is love of God.
    • Our model and companion in patience is Jesus Christ.
    • Our means of patience is our own efforts inspired and assisted by supernatural grace.
  • In the second reading today, the Apostle James recommends this virtue of patience to his fellow Christians.
    • The farmer works and waits for the good harvest he hopes to gain, but he cannot make the crop grow.
    • The Children of God work and wait for the good harvest of salvation we hope to gain, but we cannot make it happen. This is why we must be patient, firm of heart, without complaining about one another.
  • Impatience is the vice of lacking patience. It is a matter for confession because it is at least a defect, often a venial sin, and sometimes a mortal sin.
  • There is also a vice which looks like patience but is really a not-caring, indifference, resignation, or lukewarmness. It is when one has given up on the good that’s out there. We could call it “give-up-itis” or “whatever-ism.”