Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: July 24, 2020

I waited and waited and waited for God.

    At last he looked; finally he listened.

He lifted me out of the ditch,

    pulled me from deep mud.

He stood me up on a solid rock

    to make sure I wouldn’t slip.

He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,

    a praise-song to our God.

More and more people are seeing this:

    they enter the mystery,

    abandoning themselves to God.  

  • Psalm 40:1-3 (The Message)


Learning the soul art of patience is a deep work that takes a lifetime, especially I have found for me, but I am sure for all of us. Something within us, from birth, believes we should have the power to trigger action from others, from God, and even from ourselves, simply by exerting our will. We try this through various means like in prayer, in conversation, and in self-talk, and sometimes (as we have watched in horror lately) by force.

But I have learned, as hard as we will, as hard as we wish something into being, (spoiler alert!) we simply do not always get what we want! If we do get what we want, what we want almost never comes when or how we wanted it, or in the package we want it in, and it is almost always different and better when it finally does make its appearance! Unless we learn to “wait patiently,” we are continually mixing the recipe for lifelong disappointment in the face of such constant desire-delays and many missed opportunities we will simply never see. Patience, according to the Scriptures, is the antidote to continual disappointment. And patience – like hope – is a virtue that must be practiced.

Today, there is probably something you want to happen so badly you can taste it, but despite the fantasies your mind has created, there is a high probability that thing won’t happen today; Or, even tomorrow. Or this year, and often maybe never. I’m sorry, but it is the truth and I am in the truth business.

Saint Miriam today is nothing like I ever imagined, dreamed or willed. It is of God’s own making and I have found it to be the moist giving and loving and the most selfish and arrogant, too. We are the best and the worst and somehow, we love and live within something we waited patiently for. Now, it is up to us to see the gift or squander it.

I find that what we have could never have been built by us, just as it could never have been dreamed up by us. And, the things we have because of Saint Miriam are not the things of selfishness or the world. Some will lose the gift in their eagerness for the material that will always disappoint and will always pass away. St. Francis once said, Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give.”

In the battle for patience, remember Psalm 40 above; pray it, say it, sing it! Sing it over and over and over again until the yearning, the longing in your heart, transforms into the virtue of patient trust and you find what you always had all along.

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