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Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Holy Fathers on Patience:

Life is hard for you? Why, is there anyone for whom it is not hard? And do those in the world really have no troubles? Be patient, and a comforter will come in time. The Lord said, `In your patience possess ye your souls' (Lk. 21:19). If you are unable to do something and your health does not permit it, humble yourself and beg meekly [to be excused] - and above all, be patient. And if you lose patience in some situation, reproach yourself and ask God for help.

St. Anatoly of Optina,
A Collection of Letters to Nuns



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Oftentimes a man for Christ's sake has been outraged and dishonored unjustly; martyrdom is at hand; tortures on every side, and fire, and sword, and savage beasts, and the pit. But the Holy Spirit softly whispers to him, 'Wait on the Lord, O man; what is now befalling you is a small matter, the reward will be great. Suffer a little while, and you shall be with angels forever. "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18).' He portrays to the man the kingdom of heaven; He gives him a glimpse of the paradise of delight; and the martyrs, whose bodily faces are of necessity turned to their judges, but who in spirit are already in Paradise, despise those hardships which are seen.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem
(Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 16 no. 20)


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True patience consists in bearing calmly the evils others do to us, and in not being consumed by resentment against those who inflict them. Those who only appear to bear the evils done them by their neighbors, who suffer them in silence while they are looking for an opportunity for revenge, are not practicing patience, but only make a show of it.

St. Gregory the Great


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When patience greatly increases in our soul, it is a sign that we have secretly received the grace of consolation. The power of patience is stronger than the joyful thoughts that descend into the heart. Life in God is the downfall of the senses; when the heart lives, the senses fall away. The resurrection of the senses is the deadening of the heart; when the senses are quickened, it is a sign that the heart has died to God.

The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian.