Sunday, January 30, 2011

are you impatient, like me?

these are snippets from today's homily, God's Patience and Ours. it came at the perfect time. the liturgy washed over me this morning as if there was dust piled up that needed cleansing and cracks full of dirt-thoughts believed that have no place in the heart of one set free toward Life. i found myself achingly grateful for a weekly communion that, unfortunately, does not always feel meaningful but most certainly feels necessary. today all i could whisper was, "i need you again." and my eyes filled with hot tears. the woman's smiling face behind the table met mine as she said "Christ's body, broken for you and Christ's blood, shed for you" and i cast myself on him again, "you are that one. i feel it in my bones today but the tasks and experiences of the week have beaten and bruised me. come again to me as i come again to you."


Our very lives depend on the patience of God and of others. God takes up (with us) the task of patient disciplining and forming. He sits with us in the mess and brokenness knowing the moment counts for the importance of the journey. We confess to God that we are on journey with Him. He is long-suffering and faithful. We are impatient--and impatient with ourselves--because we imagine we should be somewhere else along the journey; we believe others should be at a different place along the journey. We want instant solutions to the problems we face. God cares about the process.
Relationship teaches us we need people to be patient with us. It also demands we ask the question, "are we eager to be patient with him/her/them?"

We tend to pull away from situations that are painful...often into narcissism. We are impatient with pain, discomfort, the mess of who we are.

Pray to God for the cultivation of patience for self--recognizing "i'm not where i need to be." More significant to God is that we are on journey with Him. He calls us to be faithful in the moments.

"A waiting person is a patient person. The word 'patience' means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her womb." -Henri Nouwen

This quote is so helpful as we envision what life with or without patience looks like. Our lives depend on the patience of God. Without the cultivation of patience for ourselves and others, we'll find ourselves in empty moments. Not life; not freedom; empty moments. Impatience breeds emptiness. And we'll be frustrated, confused, and unsettled in the journey if we're living empty moments.

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