Posts Tagged ‘#patience’

Mind Your Business….

June 9, 2017

“Anyone who would not work, should not eat. We hear that some of you are unruly, not keeping busy but acting like busy-bodies. We enjoin all such, and we urge them strongly in the Lord Jesus Christ, to earn the food they eat by working quietly. You must never grow weary of doing what is right, brothers”. ( 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 ).

In this letter Paul is writing to the community because there are people who are not really doing their part and are taking the time from the work they should be doing, and instead making themselves busy dealing with affairs of others.

In the world today, much is said of those who are not gainfully employed, or under employed. The world looks at these souls and judge them. They are judge to be lazy, guilty of sloth. They just don’t want to work. Indeed, there are those who were brought up not to value work at all, or were taught not to value certain types of work, because they were considered somehow “less” or not really something to be desired.

Society has been equally disowning of people who have been challenged in their educational processes.

In fact, we still struggle in this area. We understand, for instance, that different people learn by differing methods. We have not gotten to a point where we can effectively transform that knowledge into the individual student. How they learn, and then transform that into an educational process that works for that student.

There are budget concerns.. ” We can’t possibly create individual plans for each and every students!.. We simply can’t afford either the staff, or the budget concerns.” This is a common issue in education. Then those who do not learn in the traditional ways, are by and large, relegated to “lesser” jobs. They are told, ” You don’t have what it takes to go to college… you should find a trade , or go to work in retail or fast food. You might not think this goes on today. You would be wrong.

But I digress…

The problem we have, is that work is today, not something of value for most people. The employers, do not value the work of the people who work for them. They value instead the spreadsheet. The statistics that look nice and green. As long as those numbers look right, and positive, then everything is fine. Otherwise, there are only numbers and that the shoulders are broad enough to receive the pat on the back approvals of those closest. The company ( or owners ) no longer feel any obligation towards those people who toil in their firms.. after all they are numbers… replaceable, something that is replaceable in very little time with another body eager to fill it. Who spend their time “dumbing down” the process so it is easier to replace the last body that fell under the wheel of their taskmasters whip. For them their world is “gray”…. no black or white… just the gray of how the story is spun.

There are employees who, no longer have a work ethic. Who do not care about the job they do. Who’s sole concern is how little it is possible to do, in order to keep a paycheck. They do not care about the tools they are given, or the people for whom this work is done. As long as their numbers are passable, that go up to the “ivory tower” of management, then its good enough. There is no loyalty to the company that they work for, because they already know the company has no loyalty or care for them as people.

So why should we care about work ?

Work, is a gift from God. We work in order to gain a just wage. It is through that work, that we gain a just wage through which , we tithe. Tithing is not just money. Tithing is time, talent and treasure. That thing which we offer to God, through our family, through our brothers and sisters, and as a way to sanctify our day.

Paul is also quick to instruct the Thessalonians to conduct themselves in an upright and honorable way.

We too, should spend our efforts in public and in private, working on our own sanctification. It is through this type of work. Working honorably, and justly; working on our own sanctification, will be the greatest tool we have at our disposal to bring about the Kingdom of God.

Will we falter ? Sure we will. Will we slip ? Of course we will. It is not how we FALL,… but how we RISE !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Patience of the Lord

May 14, 2017

” The patience of the Lord is directed towards salvation ” – 2 Peter 3:15 \
(*ibid Shorter Christian Prayer)

I was on my way to a gathering of our community, which I was supposed to lead. At the last minute, I received a phone call from the Minister stating that the person who was supposed to lead the formation class, might not be able to make it due to some mechanical and service issues with her car.

I said not to worry about it, we would be able to work through the process and if necessary I would take up the challenge and provide some necessary formation discussions.

As it ended up, someone else came to me before the meeting began and provided the impetus for the needed discussion. However, lets backup the story a bit. I will share with you that one of my character traits/flaws (depending on ones view) is that I can not stand to be late for anything. There is something rather irritating to me about insuring that I am not late in order not to be burdensome to someone else. At work, I am always at least an hour early, as it allows me time for coffee, and to ease into the day. (caffeine is one of my vices).

Anyway, while walking to the meeting I allow plenty of time to stop and have coffee prior to its beginning and I used some of that time to review the readings of the day. Now, on this particular day, for those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours, there were approximately 4 different possible readings for the day. There was the standard reading from the Psalter, the Blessed Mother on Saturday, there was another saint whose name I have forgotten, and Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. The readings that were previously selected were Our Lady of Fatima, and I had sent out the notice.

Well in my lack of caffeine haze, I started reading (to myself , before the meeting) the reading from the Psalter. which was 2 Peter 3 12-15. This last line however stuck with me and I could not quite shake the desire to pick that apart a bit. So, what does this exactly mean that His patience, is DIRECTED towards salvation ? How exactly is it that this reflects into our own lives. ?

The Lord’s patience is,without end. Consider the span of recorded time, has man over thousands of years have we failed, have we sinned, have we failed. Still, the Lord is patient and repeatedly tries to teach us how to follow His holy will ! Why ? Why is it that God has been so patient and kind towards man who stubbornly does not learn, and has to repeatedly relearn the same lessons He has been trying to teach.

The Lords patience is directed towards salvation….

Jesus, came into the world. He took on the most vulnerable of children, born into poverty, patiently He bore His humanity in order to teach us how we are to live. Patiently, He lead the leaders. Patiently He taught the disciples, even as they failed, and stumbled. Even Peter, prince of the apostles, did he stop and patiently explain, teach, forgive, and teach again. He patiently bore the process of dealing with those who hated, and misunderstood Him.

Jesus deals with us this way, suffered, and suffers yet, for us this way, in order that we gain wisdom, and which is would lead us to salvation. Jesus often taught, that the Love is the law. take a moment and switch the word patience, with the word love. Jesus loves us. his patience exists because He loves us.

Jesus also teaches that we are to be Holy even as the Father is holy. (1 Peter 1:16 and Leviticus 11:44 )

If this is the case ( and it is) that our part of our daily offering should be that in our struggles, we need to try to emulate in our human state the holiness of Christ on Earth, then our patience should be long standing just as God’s patience is which is directed not only to the salvation of others, but towards our own sanctification.

I freely admit this is one of my own character flaws. I am not always as patient as I should be. I try, I struggle and I fail. I probably like many of you, ask the Lord , praying for patience, or being afraid to ask for patience, because of fear that the Lord would give you opportunities to work on your patience, that the human side of you ” just does not want to deal with”.

Do not be afraid to ask the Lord for anything. Primarily, however, pray and ask to become the vessel. Ask to become the tool, ask to fulfill what ever it is that is His holy will for you. I hate to tell you but if it is His will for you to have more patience, those opportunities to work on your patience are going to come whether you want them to or not. There is, however, that nasty free will thing that keeps showing up. We have choices about how we deal with them. We have to pick up our daily cross, and follow. That’s the job. Will we fail ? Yes. Will we ever get better ? Yes ! Does God love us even when we fail ? YES ! Why ? Because….

” The Lords patience is directed towards salvation ” for you, and for me.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Patience is a Virtue…

July 16, 2016

Patience..

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered* for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.” 1 Peter 2:21

I begin with the confession that, patience has been a lifelong challenge. It always seemed that the more that I sought after peace, quiet and tranquility, and the times when I desired it most, that was when the greatest challenges to that peace would come about.

In my younger years I did not suffer fools lightly, and I had a rather short length of patience which means that this particular cross, and blessing, is a journey I am painfully aware of, and painfully close to.

You may ask why is this a blessing as well as a cross. I grew up in a very “black and white world”. This meaning that things were either right or they were not right. Yes, was yes… No was no. Your word was your bond, and that word was held against your personal honor and the honor of your family name.

Growing up, these were the things that were important. God, family, friends, honor, and grace. These ideas, as we got older were weighed against the hardships of life, and of a world who increasingly did not hold these same ideas in as high regard.

This was where the journey began.. or was it ?

As Franciscans we love our Lord, and we love Him, in many ways. Some of those are germain to this discussion. We love Jesus and we praise Him poor and crucified.

Jesus was, and is, the very model of patience. Think of Him… Jesus, who us bore every measure of patience for you and for I.

Jesus, who is the Son of the Living God, who is the King of Heaven, who for love of you and I came to earth, not as a King, or a royal of any sort. He came to Earth as a slave, a slave to poverty and to a human existance. He came to Earth not in luxury, but in complete poverty. He had no home, and no warm bed to be layed in. He came not into royal robes to wrap Him and keep him warm. He came to a barn, born with the lowest ,born with animals.

He was wrapped in those wretched rags, instead of the finery He deserved. He CHOSE to come humbly… patiently. He suffered this confined, lowly human existance. Even when he first arrived humanity was already trying to kill Him. Already despised.

Jesus almost from birth lived his life with no stable home. He was moved from place to place, to avoid the hatred of the world. Jesus, King of the Universe, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, had to bear with the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph and earthly parents who did not always understand that He ” had to be about His fathers work”.

When he went about His Earthly preaching ministry, He was insulted, and people tried to lay traps for Him to try and discredit Him. The world hated Him for the message he was bringing.

Jesus suffered in His holy passion. When He labored with a heavy heart knowing that His time was near. He suffered when His friend betrayed Him. He suffered when He was taken away in ropes. He suffered being slapped. He suffered being spit upon. He suffered the taunts and jeers of the people who turned on Him. He suffered then He was scourged , whipped and beaten unto the point where He barely resembled His human self.

Jesus suffered when they tortured every part of His body, and then He suffered forcing Him to carry the burden of the instrument of His own execution… His cross. He suffered carrying that cross through the streets.. He suffered while these people tore off His clothes. He suffered when they put thorns on His head… He suffered when they drove iron nails into His body and into the wood.. He suffered when they drove the lance through His holy side.

Jesus suffered every moment of agony until His body could no longer contain the soul of this King.

Jesus suffered through a death reserved for the very worst criminals. He suffered this agonizing death in a place reserved for the most despised with the bones of others who had died there laying around.

Jesus did all of this for you and for me, for love of you and for love of me.

Jesus loves us without measure, so much that He suffered, died and rose again.
Jesus suffered all this and yet He STILL carrys us patiently. Forgiveness for the sin of the world. Your sin and mine. Jesus suffers, and yet He still loves us without end.

Jesus loves us so much that He shares Himself in the sacrifice of Holy Mass. Giving of HImself to us… through us…. with us… in us.. for us.

Jesus showed us how to be patient, and how to live a holy life. Jesus gave us the sacrament of reconcilliation to forgive our sins anew, AND still teaching us how to be patient.

One final admonition, brothers and sisters, Do not allow yourselves to be deluded, or misled. The sin of pride, is often covered in the illusion of patience.

When we are injured, hurt, suffering, we must ask ourselves why we hurt, and what is the root of the matter. We must search our very deepest hearts, and
go into deep upon deep. We must know that “we are what we are before God, and nothing else”, and then relate that knowledge to the point of our patience.

We have trials, and tribulation in our lives as a way to teach us.. Like sandpaper is used to bring out beauty in wood, our trials, if we are wise, are used to teach us to be
more patient. Patient with others, and patient with ourselves, and to teach others.

For the gifts you are given… even patience… is not yours ! You were given that gift as well, as a steward, to be used and shared for the benefit of your brothers and sisters..

May God give you the gift of His peace…. and patience !