Monday, December 11, 2006

Patience

Patience is a virtue, or so we are told. Yet, so many times we think that we can force change either in our own lives or in the lives of others. Instead of taking the slow path to change we want to immediately arrive there no matter what course of action we take... the ends begin to justify the means.

The Lord asks us to be patient, even if we are convinced that we are right and that the thing we want is what is best. He especially asks us to be patient during those times because we might, in fact, be deceived as to what the best solution to a given problem is.

Advent, precisely as a season of hope, teaches to how to wait. It teaches us to keep an eye on the past to see how God fulfilled his promises of old, so that, with firm trust in the reality of his kingdom and of the future glory promised us in Jesus, we can act today with love, which, by the way, is always patient.

I once read somewhere the saying "our thinking becomes distorted as we try to force solutions". I think that this is evident in what is happening in the Church today. Some are trying to force solutions, going that step too far that all who wanted to change the church in the past took, namely disobedience. Then one becomes deceived, in thinking that any means to reach one's goal will suffice.

If one were to come to the defense of those who are trying to force change in the Church by saying that they are indeed obeying, obeying the Holy Spirit, I would have to reply that the Holy Spirit does not inspire division and disobedience, but rather longsuffering if the person struggling for change is indeed in the right. Plus, there is always a need for discernment of spirits since not all inspiration is from God. All that is needed is to examine the fruits of said inspiration. For example, would the Holy Spirit inspire a Catholic to seek an extra-sacramental marriage?

Patience. If a change is truly meant to happen in the Church the Holy Spirit will help it to come about without resorting to the violence of disobedience and schism. Rather, if people resort to disobedience and schism, then maybe there is more wrong with the advocates for change than the thing they are fighting against.

A response to those who are not patient? Patient correction and calling back to obedience, especially if they have a ministerial charism from the grace of ordination.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Utterly great, brother. By their fruits we shall know them. Don't trust the reformer who is anxious and angry, but the one who is peaceful and prayerful.

Happy advent!