Patience

FATHER GABRIEL OF ST. MARY MAGDALEN, O.C.D.

Patience is the virtue which makes us accept for love of God, generously and peacefully, everything that is displeasing to our nature.

Patience is the virtue which makes us accept for love of God, generously and peacefully, everything that is displeasing to our nature, without allowing ourselves to be depressed by the sadness which easily comes over us when we meet with disagreeable things. Patience is a special aspect of the virtue of fortitude which prevents us from deviating from the right road when we encounter obstacles. Fortitude has a double function: to face difficulties and to bear them. Many difficulties can be surmounted through fortitude. Others, however, we must learn to bear with, and this is the role of patience.

By fixing our glance on Jesus, the divinely patient One, we can learn to practice patience. If Jesus, the Innocent One, bore so much for us, can we not endure something for love of Him? Whatever the total of suffering in our lives, it will always be very small compared with the infinite sufferings of Christ.

Whoever wishes to become patient must look at the motives for suffering in the profound light of faith. If we wish to live for God, we must never stop to consider the human causes of our sufferings, but must accept all as coming from His hands, simply repeating: Dominus est! It is the Lord!

This acceptance does not prevent us from feeling, even deeply feeling, the weight of the suffering – Jesus also felt it in His agony in the Garden of Olives – but it does help us to be undisturbed, to preserve peace and serenity, to maintain self-control, and, consequently, to be patient.

In the beginning, and even for a long time, we may experience a great repugnance for suffering. Nevertheless, if we try to accept it as we should, with constancy, peace, and submission to the divine will, we shall gradually become cognizant of the great spiritual benefit that flows from it.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. "Patience." Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year (1952).

Divine Intimacy is undoubtedly the classic Carmelite work on meditation – a book that helps one arrive at intimate union with God by the practice of considering holy truths. It is a book that shows how to join prayer and action and put the Catholic doctrine on the spiritual life into practice daily.

THE AUTHOR

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., (18931953) was a Discalced Carmelite priest who became one of the most revered masters of the spiritual life. He acquired a vast knowledge of the ways that lead to holiness and to union with God. His experience with souls, whom he guided to the heights of perfection, was outstanding. He was an expert in the spiritual and mystical doctrine of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) and of St. John of the Cross. The Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of St. Joseph in Rome were the heirs of the Father Gabriel’s vast output of published works and private manuscripts. For ten years, he guided these nuns as their confessor and spiritual director, and it was they who helped him to arrange his material in line with the course of the liturgical year, while following the ascent of the soul to transforming union with God, or to ‘Divine Intimacy.’ Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. is the author of Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year.

Copyright © 1952 Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.




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