Meditations on the Holy Spirit (14/14): PATIENCE

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Beloved Holy Spirit, with today’s meditation we conclude this preparation for the great feast of Your coming. May Your fruits grow and ripen in us, for in this way we can glorify the One from whom everything comes and bear witness to You before the world!

For this we need patience, for these fruits ripen more with each passing day. We need patience even more with other people, so that they can receive what God has prepared for them.

How much patience God has with us! How he tries to reach us again and again, and the whole of humanity, which often takes such erroneous paths!

Even as we wait with longing for the return of Christ and prepare ourselves day by day, whether for the hour of death or the parousia at the end of time, we know:

“The Lord is not being slow in carrying out his promises, as some people think he is; rather is he being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:9)

Here we see clearly how patience is love practised. God is patient because He loves; and because He loves, He waits.

Patience, however, has nothing to do with indifference or apathy, combined with a sluggish temperament. Rather, it goes hand in hand with the determination to act at the right time. And precisely “acting at the right time” is a form of patience. This fruit of the Holy Spirit knows how to wait for the right time; it is not hasty – which can destroy so much -; it does not act impulsively and spontaneously; but acts with deliberation, and even better: in cooperation with Your guidance and with reason.

Patience, as the concrete spiritual application of love, is a combination of many things: self-control, abstinence – in the sense of restraint from rash speech and action – goodness and forbearance….

Thus none of the twelve fruits we have considered stands alone. They grow together on one tree, which is love.

If we taste of the fruits of this tree, what had happened in Paradise will not happen. They are not forbidden fruits, which would separate us from God by disobedience!  On the contrary, they are an expression of true life, real and true fruits of the “tree of life” (cf. Rev 22:2), that came to us in Jesus. We are allowed to eat from them in order to be like God, but not as in the seduction in paradise by Satan, when man arbitrarily reached for the forbidden fruit in order to be like God (cf. Gen 3:1-6).

“To be like God” in the sense of the Holy Spirit means that the way of God, His love, His Spirit become active in us and we produce those fruits we have been thinking about in the last days. They make us like God; and so we also become what the goodness of God has intended for us human beings.

We can only thank You, beloved Holy Spirit, for all that You do for us and in us! We can never thank You and praise You enough!

So let us just tell You that WE LOVE YOU!

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