Patience

Second Week of Advent Meditation

Abbot Martin Veth, c. 1940

Abbot Martin Veth, c. 1940

Advent during WWII must have been interesting.  Imagine the patience exercised by so many Catholic families as America united, suffered and sacrificed for freedom.  The Benedictine monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey served as military chaplains and suffered in the cause of freedom.  Christ fought for freedom too.  Abbot Martin Veth said Advent is a penitential time, “To will what God wills and because He wills it, this is the essence of patience.  Patience does no relieve us of our natural feelings of aversion, irritation, and indignation, but it controls and rises above these feelings.  Merely to grin and bear suffering in sullen silence with stoic and passive indifference is not Christian patience; we must willingly accept the cross and offer it, as Christ did on Calvary.  We must offer our sufferings, at the foot of the altar.  Our Lord felt the natural impulse to avoid suffering, but He set aside and refused to listen to this feeling:   “Father not my will but Thine be done.…Where does this patience show itself?  It shows itself in the way you put up with the many things of your daily life, sickness, death, war, persecution, mishaps and misfortunes of every kind.”

From, Custody of the Heart:  Selected Spiritual Writings of Abbot Martin Veth, O.S.B., Edited by William P. Hyland, PhD., page 9-10