Saint Alphonsus Liguori was a bishop. One
day, he was insulted by a woman as he was
leaving the cathedral. She accused him of
being responsible for the famine that had
ravished the land. The saint reacted by blessing
But the sacristan, who was accompanying him,
was less courteous and shoved her aside.
The bishop was annoyed at this angry gesture
of his sacristan and immediately reprimanded
him: "Poor thing, she and others like
her, deserve compassion; these words do not
stem from their hearts but from their hunger."
The sacristan was given a penance: four days
staying home and praying!
Let us face it. We can resent waiting and
many of us do! But one thing is certain -
we cannot avoid it. We are always waiting
for something - in the traffic, in the bank,
at the shops, waiting for a job, waiting
for someone to change his mindů Above all,
we are waiting for ourselves to grow upů
Perhaps we should learn to accept and even
get good at it! Many claim that patience
is an essential quality of a happy life.
The Jews had to wait centuries before the
Messiah came. Mary had to wait nine months
before she could embrace her son. The saints
understood the importance of patience. Pope
Saint Gregory I said, "Patience is the
root and guardian over all the virtues."
And Saint Augustine wrote, "Patience
is the companion of wisdom".
Patience and perseverance are twin virtues
that bring God's blessing. Patience allows
us to remain hopeful when our prayers don't
seem to get answered, and our problems grow.
Perseverance inspires us to continue a task
we know to be right even though we do not
see the results we expect.
There is no time when these two virtues were
more needed than now. Our times are filled
with edginess and a love of ease; we all
want instant rewards and immediate results.
We seem unwilling to work hard and to patiently
wait for the harvest of our labors. In their
place we love the lottery ticket and spiritual
leaders who promise the easy way as rewards
We have lost our bearings. We are losing
contact with reality.
The husband was really angry after waiting
for thirty minutes fruitlessly for his wife.
Seeing one of those photograph booths nearby
(the kind that accepts coins and takes four
shots while you pose on a small bench), he
had an idea. He assumed the most fierce expression
he could manage, which wasn't difficult under
the circumstances, and in a few moments he
was holding four small prints that shocked
He wrote his wife's name on the back of the
photographs and handed them to a clerk behind
the desk. "If you see a petite, fair
lady with blue eyes and an apologetic expression,
apparently looking for someone, would you
please give her this?" he said.
He then returned to his office content that,
if a picture is worth a thousand words, then
four photos must be a total lecture!
His wife saved those pictures. She carries
them in her purse now and shows them to anyone
who asks if she is married...
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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