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Patience

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St. Therese

Patience is the virtue which makes us accept for love of God, generously and peacefully, everything that is displeasing to our nature, without allowing ourselves to be depressed by the sadness which easily comes over us when we meet with disagreeable things.

Patience is a special aspect of the virtue of fortitude which prevents our deviating from the right road when we encounter obstacles. it is an illusion to believe in a life without difficulties. many difficulties are surmounted and overcome by an act of courage; others, on the contrary, cannot be mastered. We must learn to bear with them, and this is the role of patience - an arduous task, because it is easier to face obstacle directly, than to support the inevitable oppositions and sufferings of life, which, in time, tend to discourage and sadden us. By fixing our glance on Jesus, the divinely patient One, we can learn to practice patience most effectively. When we see Him who came into the world to save us, living from the first moment of His earthly existence in want, privation, and poverty, and later in the midst of misunderstanding and persecution; when we see Him become the object of the hatred of His own fellow citizen, calumniated, doomed to death, betrayed by a friend, and tried and condemned as malefactor, our souls are stirred: we realized that we cannot be his disciples unless we follow the same road. If Jesus, the Innocent One par excellence, bore so much for love of us, can we, sinnners who are deserving to suffer, not endure something for love of Him? Whatever the total suffering in our lives, it will always be very small, and even nothing, compared with the infinite sufferings of jesus; for in His Passion Christ not only endured the suffering of one life or several human lives, but that of all mankind.

It is very consoling for me to remember that You, the God of might, knew our weaknesses, that You shuddered at the sight of the bitter cup which earlier You had so ardently desired to drink.

In spite of this trial which robs me of all sense of enjoyment, i can still say: 'You have given me, O Lord, a delight in Your doings.' For is there any greater joy than to suffer for Your love, O my God? the more intense and the more hidden the suffering, the more do You value it. And even if, by an impossibility, You should not be aware of my affliction, I should still be happy to bear it, in the hope that by my tears I might prevent or atone for one sin against faith" (St Therese - "Letters" "The Story of the Soul")

As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven.

 



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