Desiring Patient Fidelity
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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
Text from the first three paragraphs of "Desiring Patient Fidelity, Often in the Midst of Great Poverty"|In the Midst of Great Poverty.|Praying with the Nativity scriptures can help us with a profound support for our everyday lives. The gospels paint us beautiful portraits of how Our God comes to us in the midst of great poverty. The age of Elizabeth, Gabriel's annuniciation to Mary, no room in the inn, enemies out to get the newborn, all surround the central mystery - our God is faithful. Our God's fidelity is not only not limited by great poverty, it is most apt in places of great poverty. The way the nativity happened then can tell us a great deal about the "style" of our God. And, it can open our eyes and our expectation to the places of great poverty in our lives now. Whenever I ask, "How can this be a place of promise?" or "How can I expect God to be present in this mess?" I am being invited to experience the mystery of the Incarnation in my life. Eventually, I begin to look for and to really anticipate special intimacy with Jesus in the difficult, challenging, painful, empty, power-less situations of my life. If I desire to find intimacy with God in all things, I'll pay special attention to the povery places of my life.|Intimacy born of Patience.|The very root meaning of "patience" - from the Greek and Latin - is "to suffer." We struggle to be patient, when we are reluctant to suffer. We lose our patience, when others sin or disappoint us. We are im-patient with anything that "takes time." Each of us can name the ways that we can easily say, "I am not a patient person." At our worst, we have a "hot head" or a "short fuse."|Actually, patience is something that is learned. Like all virtue, it comes from practice - from developing a habit. We develop the ability to be patient, through small experiences of suffering small things. This "acceptance" - this living in trust with what is really before us - is practiced when we smile on a cloudy day, as we take a calming deep breath when something doesn't go as we expected, whenever we endure with serenity even a small loss. To be untroubled, unruffled by minor disappointments gives us the strength to develop greater patience - to suffer greater poverties.
Creighton University, Online Ministries
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