Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As a child, I can remember counting down the days until Christmas. Mom would put up the felt Advent calendar that had one piece of candy tied to it for each day of Advent. It was a mild form of torture… the waiting for the days to pass seemed like forever. I remember wanting to untie them two at a time, thinking Christmas would somehow arrive sooner. It never did. The Advent season seemed like forever when I was a child.
We learn from Sacred Scripture that Our Lord’s timing may be different from ours. Since God doesn’t always give us what we want exactly when we want it, we can grow impatient with God. Patience is such an important virtue. Patience is often needed while waiting for someone or something that doesn’t respond to our predetermined timetable. Patience is often sacrificing some immediate satisfaction for the sake of a greater good. These are words we don’t like to hear since we are so used to immediate gratification.
As a result of our lack of patience, we face many problems in our culture. Consider our current financial meltdown. Bankers, eager to make a quick profit, told young people that they could have it all, now: a new house, a new car, everything. Many people were told there was no need to wait. That hasn’t worked out for many folks who thought they could make a quick buck.
So many sins involve a lack of patience. For example, when people lose their temper on the road - that shows a lack of patience for another person’s driving skills or lack thereof. Stealing and cheating are also sins of impatience: Rather than working hard, a person simply wants to grab what they want because they often want it now. And, even sins like fornication, adultery, pornography, cohabitation, and contraception are sins of impatience. Rather than respecting God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality, a person wants it all and he or she wants it now.
The season of Advent gives us a chance to return to the basics - and there is no virtue more basic than patience. It means discipline, hard work, sacrifice, and waiting for the right moment. Patience is difficult but it does bring great rewards. Advent can help us to learn patience: to wait, not nervously, but patiently. Advent can help us to learn God’s time - to avoid those sins of impatience that cause so much harm. If we wait patiently, Our Lord will give us every good thing. Ask Our Lord to help us to wait in joyful hope.BACK TO LIST