Advent with A Kempis XVI

Chapter 16: Bearing one another’s faults

“Whatever we are unable to reform in ourselves or in others, we must clearly put up with until God chooses to change it. View this as being, perhaps, the better state, for by undergoing this test it teaches us patience without which all our actions carry little merit.”

This chapter and this Advent season seek to teach me patience. And I don’t really want to learn…

Those who wait always run the risk of looking like Vladimir and Estragon…

“All human wisdom,” according to the author of The Three Musketeers, “is summed up in two words – wait and hope.” And Benjamin Franklin quipped, “He that can have Patience, can have what he will.”

“Be patient in bearing the imperfections and weaknesses of others, no matter what they may be, just as others have to put up with your faults.” That is Kempis, again.

In Herman Hesse’s novel, Siddhartha is asked, “What is it that you’ve learned?” He answers, “I can think. I can wait. I can fast.” And a Buddhist proverb goes, “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”

“Patience,” for St. Augustine, “is the companion of wisdom.” And if patience is a lamp, Tertullian sees “hope” as one that’s lit.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience,” said the transcendentalist.

George MacDonald taught me this secret once while I was reading The Light Princess. “The principle part of faith,” he said,  “is patience.”

The patron saint of writers advised,  “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.”


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