"My most beloved Jesus, I embrace all the sufferings You have destined for me until death. I beg You, by all you have suffered in carrying out Your cross to help me to carry mine with Your perfect peace and resignation." (Meditation on the 2nd Station of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori)Patience: the elusive yet most desirable virtue. As with any virtue, it remains unattainable if it is only to be wistfully gazed at a height we do not really wish to mount. The climb is too tedious and difficult, and we believe ourselves too entrenched in disabling habits. Fr. John Hardon, in his work "The Catholic Family in the Modern World", clarified the struggle with this fruit of the Holy Spirit when he noted that the word patience comes from the Latin verb pati which means "to suffer". He goes on to say:
"It is impossible to practice patience unless you suffer."Patience necessitates bearing faults quietly, not critically; yielding tranquilly to events outside one's control; and suffering inconveniences, bereft of bitterness. Yet, above all, patience demands "the perfect peace and resignation" that comes with accepting our cross. In the second Station of the Cross, we meditate on Our Savior's acceptance of the cup of suffering that He must drink for our salvation. Acceptance must be done with loving trust, not accompanied by petulancy or fruitless anxiety. It must be an act of the will to say, "not my will but thine be done." The cross may not lighten, but our load will be easier to carry when we relinquish the burdensome bitterness and angst that parasitically drained our strength to shoulder it.