Philosophy

On Patience and Kindness

Ambrose Andreano

There are two underrated virtues: patience and kindness. The one leads to the other. Patience does not mean ‘waiting’ a long time, it means the ability to ‘suffer’ a long time. And man divests himself of kindness when he cannot allow himself to suffer long at the word or deed of another. Listen to the Scriptures saying “Love suffers long, and is kind.”

And Love is not an impersonal description of a person’s moral character, Love is the person of Christ borne within us. Patience and kindness are both Christ living and moving within. Or, to put it another way, theologically speaking, “Love” and “Virtue” (in the singular) ought to always be written with a capital letter. There is no such thing as “love” or “virtue” as a thing separate from the person of Christ. Love is therefore not a thing God ‘has.’ Scripture does not say God ‘has’ love, it says God “is” Love. Christ is, in His person, the very definition.

When we cannot suffer even a moment, even if it be something as insignificant as ignoring a single provocative tweet, our lack of patience is our ego preventing Christ from being fully formed and expressed within us. And it should make us tremble when we see ourselves try to justify our own lack of kindness towards others.

Therefore, one of my 2020 resolutions is going to be to try to focus on being more patient and more kind, because in this I can frequently play the chief of sinners.

May God forgive me.

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