Patience—A Beautiful Fruit


This simple word can evoke such a variety of responses!

“It’s impossible to practice, I simply get so annoyed.”

Take a moment and examine what our first thoughts are when you hear the word PATIENCE.

Was it a negative thought? Often this virtue can bring with it difficult emotions. And when those are our reactions, the desire to become more patient can feel like an uphill battle. But what if our reaction could be different? A reaction that is filled with a hope and longing to have this virtue?

One definition states that that patience is “the capacity to accept, tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset.” And this is a true definition, but for Christians, this is only a part of it. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. St Paul writes, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” Galatians 5:22.

Who doesn’t love fruit, or at least the concept of a beautiful spring tree resplendent with blossoms which eventually become cherries, or oranges or apples? How will the fruit of patience be manifest? How shall we attain it? Let us examine a few Scripture passages (there are countless!) so we may restructure our attitudes and thoughts and grow in this virtue.

“Be still before the Lord; wait for him. Do not be provoked by the prosperous, nor by malicious schemers.” Psalm 37:7

This passage teaches that the Lord’s training ground is often in waiting. With open eyes and open hearts, we the the opportunity to learn many lessons as we wait. We learn to be still- this means to not be controlled by the experience of anger, irritation, annoyance that can occur when our patience is tried. If we are honest, we lose our patience because we want to control the situation, the circumstances or the people. The lesson of waiting helps us to pause, examine our inner world and become open to the Lord’s ways which are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). It is a call to trust in the Father’s plan, in the loving designs of His Heart for our lives.

“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning; the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit” Ecclesiastes 7:8.

Really, all the virtues and fruits are closely connected! In this verse, patience is linked to humility. Jesus commanded us “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” This is not optional. If we say we are Christians, the whole Gospel is not optional. It’s challenge every day, but we have the Holy Spirit to help us.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” Romans 12:12.

The letters of St. Paul are filled with exhortations to be patient for patience is the mark of the Christian life. As we grow in trust and humility, we will begin to see the Lord working in difficult situations. And, little by little, instead of losing our patience and emotions, we will begin to be open to new possibilities, peacefully waiting for the next great thing the Lord is going to do, as we wait. Patience opens us up to the miracle He is working within us. We are called us to become a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) and desires the renewal of our minds (Romans 2:2) so that we may live the abundant life (John10:10) and bear much fruit (John 15:8), patiently!

Sister Marie Estelle, O.C.D.

To learn more about the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, read their biography below and visit their website.

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Alhambra, California 91801

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About the Author

Promoting a Deeper Spiritual Life Among Families through Healthcare, Education and Retreats

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles strive to give striking witness as a vibrant, thriving community of dedicated women with an all-consuming mission. It is our God-given mission, a mission of the heart, a mission of loving service to the poor, the sick, the needy and the uneducated. Our loving service overflows from each sister’s profound life of prayer. We strive to reflect His life and hope and His promise to all that light has come into our world and darkness has not overcome it.

A look at the history of our community, with its motherhouse in Alhambra, California, reveals how its life-giving presence has come about. During the beginning decades of the 1900s just as the epic Mexican revolution was subsiding, a ruthless religious persecution was gaining momentum in Mexico. This horrible persecution accompanied the birth and humble beginnings of our community, a legacy that Mother Luisita, our foundress, and her two companions brought with them as religious refugees entering the Unites States in 1927.

Those seeds planted by Mother Luisita, now a candidate for sainthood, have taken deep root in the United States since those early days. People and places have changed throughout the years, yet the heart of our mission remains. As an autonomous religious institute since 1983 we continue to carry out our loving service in our healthcare facilities, retreat houses and schools which remain to this day centers of life and hope. Today we are moving forward together “Educating for Life with the Mind and Heart of Christ” in schools, being “At the Service of the Family for Life” through health and eldercare and “Fostering a Deeper Spiritual Life” through individual and group retreats. At the heart of our vocation is a passionate mission of loving service which facilitates our life-giving encounter with the living God.

The heritage of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the spirituality of Carmel, the Gospels, the Church, with our particular charism derived from our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its roots in a long history and living tradition. The spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross is rooted in this tradition. Carmel means enclosed garden in which God Himself dwells. The divine indwelling in the soul is the foundation of Teresa's doctrine. Thus our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service to the Church.

Our ideal finds a living expression in the life and charism of our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament, whose spirit we faithfully preserve and foster.

Our life is characterized by: - A life of prayer and union with God - A deep love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist - Devotion to our Blessed Mother - Steadfast fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church - Praying for priests - Commitment to works of the apostolate in ecclesial service

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