February 23, 2017
FROM the wonderful little book, Patience, Meditations for a Month, by Richard F. Clarke, S.J., that makes good Lenten reading:
1. Impatience is one of the most foolish of all faults. It gains nothing for us; it does not relieve our sufferings, but aggravates them. No one enjoys any peace as long as he is yielding to feelings of impatience; he is discontented, miserable, uneasy. He finds intolerable what he could bear well enough if only he would make the necessary effort, and gulp down the rising irritation or suppress the angry words. He is always in a fever, and is a nuisance to himself and to all around him. Do not I know this by experience? If not, I must thank God for giving me so happy a disposition.
2. Impatience is also one of the most ridiculous of all faults. There is something laughable and contemptible in the fuming of the impatient man over some trifle, in his rage because he cannot overcome some difficulty or have his own way as he desires. An impatient man always makes a bad impression. If I could see myself as others see me when I give way to impatience, I should be thoroughly ashamed and very careful not to make myself so foolish again.
3. Impatience, when voluntarily indulged, is a sort of indirect rebellion against God. It is a practical refusal to bear willingly the trials that He has laid upon us; it is a kicking against the goad. No wonder that we hurt ourselves in so doing; it is only what we deserve. We all of us need trials, but if instead of profiting by them and learning patience from them, they are to us only an occasion of impatience, they simply increase our condemnation. If I give way to impatience, it shows that I am not subject as I ought to be to the law of God, and still less to the sweet yoke of Christ.