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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

28 February 2018: Ann Saunders, Parishioner St Laurence Catholic Church

Patience

Four weeks of flu in January followed by several more with a subsequent virus tested my patience sorely. I missed my walks, bike rides into town and seeing my friends. I knew the household chores were piling up and I couldn’t do anything about them from my sickbed. It is said that ‘patience is a virtue’ and believe me, I didn’t feel virtuous.

Nowadays with everything on tap, especially on social media, are we less patient than we used to be? I get annoyed when my laptop doesn’t start up quickly enough or when there’s that infuriating twirling wheel on the screen. And we want the latest news NOW.

In the Bible, God’s people were amazingly forbearing at times. The Israelites, God’s ‘chosen people’, had to struggle for 40 years for Moses to lead them out of Egypt and eventually to bring them to the ‘Promised Land’. Saint Paul hundreds of years later wrote in one of his letters, ‘Be patient in tribulation’. Romans chapter 12 verse 12. The Israelites certainly demonstrated that in those four decades and beyond. And those Jewish descendants wait patiently for the Messiah’s first coming to this day.

It is no wonder that we talk about a person having ‘the patience of Job’. Job in the Old Testament was really tested with all kinds of trials and suffering sent by the devil, but Job continued to praise God.

During this period of Lent, we could try and be less impatient, whether it’s in a shopping queue, a traffic jam or trying to find a parking space. We can use the time to say a quick prayer for someone or to offer up our thanks for all the good things in our lives. We might even plead, ‘Dear Lord, please make me more patient’ and resisting the temptation to add, ‘but please hurry up!’.

Women's World Day of Prayer will be celebrated in Petersfield at St Peter's on Friday 2 March at 1:30pm - all (including men!) are welcome.

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