Newsletter Subscribe
Australian Catholics Subscribe

Prayer blog: Patience really is a virtue

Helen Jacobs  |  14 September 2015

Virtues are good habits for a reason. They are the coaches and spectators of this marathon called life, whole-heartedly advising you and cheering you on, wanting you to become a better person. 

I know this because recently I’ve had to spend a significant portion of my time – five weeks in fact - reacquainting myself with my lounge. You see I required reconstructive knee surgery (sounds fancy doesn’t it?) after a silly stack at the snow. I wish there was a story there but sadly not. 

And it hit me. Having previously considered myself a patient person – after all, I teach teenagers – I’ve realised over the past month or so that indeed I have some practice to do. I was so easily agitated at having to rely on others to do things for me – and them not getting those things done quick enough. I was so easily frustrated with myself at having to learn how to use said knee again – and not doing that quick enough.  

I’m reminded of Slow and Steady, the tortoise, who was not put off by Hare’s bragging or illustrious speed, but instead, graciously persevered with his lot. He was the true winner and good role model to all. Thanks Aesop. I’ll try and persevere.

However, is patience ever taken advantage of? Is there a time when patience can stomp its foot and say “No. I’ve been patient far too long. Something (what ever it is) needs to happen”. Or should it continue to wait, and if need be, make concessions? 

I raise these points in regards to the annulment process. My fiancé is currently in the midst of seeking one. It has been 16 months so far and there’s no real indication of whether it will be successful – more to the point, when he’ll even get a verdict. The process has been arduous and clunky and not overly pastoral, and we’re both tiring of wondering if or when. 

Our hope is renewed a little though with Pope Francis’ vision to be more merciful and make changes – the first in two centuries – to the process to try and make it more accessible and efficient. It is reinvigorating to see a contemporary issue affecting the Church being addressed in a fresh and timely way. It is reassuring in the sense more attempts are being made to reach out and welcome people, regardless of what their life story is. 

I wonder whether the changes will have a marked affect on the experiences of applicants? I wonder whether the Church will see an increase in the number of people seeking annulments and whether there will be a flow on affect in terms of bums on seats? I wonder if I will be able to set a wedding date soon?

I guess I’ll have to keep practising my patience. One thing for sure, I’m glad I’ve had the patience to stick around and witness the Francis effect. 

Helen Jacobs is a former journalist and now works as a religious education teacher in a Catholic school.

 

Topic tags: buildingpeace, ourrelationshipwithgod, thecatholictradition

Request permissions to reuse this article


Similar articles

Prayer blog: Spiritual encounters in the Macedon Ranges

Nunzio Di Benedetto | 10 Apr 2018

There is much to be learned when you are 'Being with God in Nature'.


Prayer blog: Becoming more human

Michael McVeigh | 23 Nov 2017

Reconciliation with creation isn’t just about changing the way our society uses resources and impacts on the environment. It’s also about reconsidering how we live in the world and relate to each other as individuals.


Prayer blog: Light and darkness

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ | 16 Nov 2017

If a trouble-struck government decided to hold a plebiscite for people to choose between Light and Darkness, Light would win in a landslide. But in fact, our natural condition is to live in shadow and to protect ourselves against the light. 


Prayer blog: Ripples

Brendan Nicholls | 09 Nov 2017

Throughout November the Church remembers those who have died and rest eternally with God. Here is one way you can remember them each day. 


Prayer blog: Eradication of Poverty Day

Andy Hamilton SJ | 16 Oct 2017

We usually think of poverty as something that afflicts third world nations. But it is also present in Australia – shamefully so, in a nation of great wealth. We can see its effects in the lives of Indigenous Australians, with their poorer life expectancy income and educational opportunities, and greater likelihood of addiction, hospitalisation and jailing.


This website uses cookies to give you the best, most relevant experience.

Using this website means you are okay with this.

You can change your cookies settings at any time and find out more about them by following this link