Pope Francis: Impatience are enemies of the spiritual life

by FLL Editorial Team

(Vatican News) During his Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis calls on the faithful to imitate Christ's patience, saying this virtue offers one of the most convincing testimonies of the Lord's love.

Even if often it is not easy, when a Christian practices the difficult virtue of patience, they bear witness to Christ's love.

Pope Francis made this point during his weekly General Audience on Wednesday of Holy Week, which was originally scheduled to be held in St. Peter's Square but was moved to the Paul VI Hall at the last minute due to rain.

Acknowledging the change in location due to the weather, the Holy Father joked, "It is true that you will be rather crowded, but at least we will not get wet. Thank you for your patience."

Cardinal virtue of patience

This week, the Pope continued his catechetical series on vices and virtues. After a number of months dedicated to the vices, he recently transitioned to discussing virtue, last week focusing on prudence, and this week, on patience.

At the root of patience, the Pope stressed, is love. Even if being patient, often, is not easy, the Holy Father reminded those before him, of how patient the Lord is with us.

Patient Christians witness Christ's love

It could be said, he observed, that "there is no better testimony of Christ's love" than meeting a patient Christian.

"But think," the Holy Father marveled, "of how many mothers and fathers, workers, doctors and nurses, the sick, who every day, in obscurity, grace the world with saintly patience!"

'Let us be honest'

"However, let us be honest," Pope Francis admitted, "we are often lacking in patience."

He acknowledged that it is part of our human nature to be impatient and respond to evil with evil. "It is difficult to stay calm, control our instincts, restrain bad responses, defuse arguments and conflicts in the family, at work, and in the Christian community."

The Pope stressed that patience is not only a "necessity," but "a calling."

"If Christ is patient, the Christian is called to be patient," he underscored, saying this requires going against the prevailing mentality today, where haste and "everything now" dominate.

"Let us not forget that haste and impatience are enemies of the spiritual life," he said, stressing, that God is love, and whoever loves, can work on learning how to wait.

Comtemplating Jesus' patient example

The Pope encouraged the faithful to remember the patience of the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son, and asked how we can cultivate our patience.

Responding that we can do so by seeking help from the Holy Spirit, the Pope said, "He gives us the gentle strength of patience."

Especially in these days, the Pope invited everyone to contemplate the Crucified Christ to learn and follow His patient example.

Pope Francis concluded by praying that this Holy Week we all work on becoming more patient, and, in doing so, more holy.

Source: Pope at Audience: Patience offers convincing witness to Christ's love