Meditations on the Holy Spirit (1/14): LONGANIMITY

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“You Holy Spirit, you kiss of the Father and of the Son, you sweetest and most intimate kiss” (Saint Bernard of Clairveaux), we want to know and love you better. Therefore, descend into our soul, “like the sun which illuminates everything where it finds no obstacle. Reach out like an arrow of flame to the deepest part of our soul. You do not rest in proud hearts and high spirits; rather you open your dwelling in humble souls” (St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi).

Enlighten us in these days in which we are preparing the Solemnity of Your coming, You who are our Comforter and Teacher, the Bridegroom of our souls, the One who makes us holy.

Love is longsufferin (cf. 1 Cor 13:4)

Longanimity is your wonderful fruit, which lives in those souls that listen to you and do not lose heart over long distances. It is similar to patience, but even more strongly related to the goods of the spirit. It carries the perseverance in itself and makes the soul strong and capable of suffering. Thus it grows as the fruit of an intimate relationship with you. It is divine in nature, as the Apostle Paul testifies:

“If mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the leading example of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who were later to trust in him for eternal life.” (1 Tim 1:16)

God’s patience calls us to repentance. We get to know his perseverance, his wonderful love, his willingness to endure us and not to turn away from us, to keep his heart open for us even when we close ourselves; he is always ready to offer us his forgiveness; even when we reject it, he never gives up; we notice how he is calling for our love and tries to speak to us!

Love is longsuffering…

This wonderful gift asks for our patience:

“As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience.” (cf. Col 3:12)

So You, beloved Holy Spirit, want us to become forbearing ourselves, that Your way unfolds in us – also towards other people; that we are always ready to forgive, to keep our hearts open, to bear others, sometimes to bear ourselves, to be able to wait in perseverance and to strive and do good persistently.

Beloved Holy Spirit, there is much work to be done: every pride, every boastfulness, every vanity and obstinacy in wanting to be right, every obstacle must be removed… so that your fruit may grow in us. Thank God that You are patient and forbearing with me!

Love is forbearing…

Please let us set out together, Holy Spirit, and I ask you to be patient with me.

Help me to curb my impatience and not to follow my first waves of emotion, but to call upon You when my patience is so weak and I am so easily unjust! Let me think of how you treat me, so patiently and forbearing.

Realize your love in me, that I may become a credible witness to my Lord! You do not want to reach only me, for you are sent by our Father and the Son to complete the work. You want to lead back on the path those “whom Your forbearance saw erring” (cf. Lenten hymn). If you are patient, I too will become patient and persevere in the Lord’s vineyard.

Strengthen me when I am tired, admonish me when I am careless, make me ready to follow You in everything.

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