The Virtue of Patience
By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 03-10-2011
Someone once made this short prayer: “Lord, give me
patience, but please hurry!” The word
“patience” is derived from the Latin word pati, which means to suffer, to
endure, to bear. Patience is the level of endurance a person can take before
any negative reaction. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being
steadfast. Arnold H. Glasgow says: “The key to everything is patience. You get
the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” Often in life we
encounter situations that test our patience:
– Delay in getting what we want, when we want and where we want
– Sickness, fatigue, hunger, thirst, etc.
– Conflicts, disputes, irritation, pain, temptations, bad behaviour,
bad habits, etc.
– Contempt, insults, accusations, etc.
Each of us can sit back and recount the occasions that
tested our patience. When we lose patience, the consequences can be
unmanageable and disastrous. Many serious quarrels start with impatience over
little things. That's why it is so very important to train oneself in this
virtue from young age. It is in fact the taming of our passion and is developed
through difficulties and troubles that we encounter in life. It helps us
encounter frustrations, disappointments, sickness, privations and hardships
without losing our serenity. The virtue of patience gives a person greater
advantage over others in every situation, as Thomas Jefferson says:
“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain
always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”“Be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil;
rather, always seek what is good for each other and for all”
About The Author
Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP is a Catholic priest of the Society of St Paul. He has been engaged in media activities for several years as General Editor of ST PAULS Mumbai. He believes in God's gift of beauty and goodness in every human being, in nature and in every religious tradition, and shares his views and opinions with others.