The Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours for this morning had
“A treatise on the value of patience, by St Cyprian” from which I excerpt the following parts:
“What we do not see, we hope, for Patience is a precept for salvation given us by our Lord our teacher: Whoever endures to the end will be saved. And again: If you persevere in my word, you will truly be my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Dear brethren, we must endure and persevere if we are to attain the truth and freedom we have been allowed to hope for; faith and hope are the very meaning of our being Christians, but if faith and hope are to bear their fruit, patience is necessary…
… But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it in patience. Patient waiting is necessary if we are to be perfected in what we have begun to be, and if we are to receive from God what we hope for and believe…
…Paul warns us not to grow weary in good works through impatience, not to be distracted or overcome by temptations and so give up in the midst of our pilgrimage of praise and glory, and allow our past good deeds to count for nothing because what was begun falls short of completion…”
And so we see that patient endurance, taking things one day at a time, is a needed part of our salvation. Impatience is our attempt at defying time, wanting things now and not later. This “immediate gratification” distracts us from our ultimate destiny. We are never satisfied as things do not seem to be achieved fast enough and so we succumb to temptations of every sort.
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