There is a Japanese proverb which says: PATIENCE
opens every door. Anyone who has ever contended with a frozen lock
or a swollen door would have to admit that heat or pressure applied
with PATIENCE (rather than its opposite!) does
yield the desired result. Not only does PATIENCE
minimize damage to stubborn doors and stiffened locks, it also helps
to keep one's self-possession blessedly intact!
Indeed, the PATIENCE which opens every material
door is even more effective in the realm of the spirit. We need only
look at the PATIENCE of God in the step by step
unfolding of His plan of salvation. He did not rush redemption.
Rather He prepared — carefully, persistently, PATIENTLY
— for the fullness of time when He would send His Only Begotten Son
to save the world and to reopen to humanity the gates of the Kingdom
While every step of Jesus' earthly life is marked by an
exquisitely perfect PATIENCE, it is in His blessed
Passion that this virtue shines with divine splendor. St. Augustine
describes the Passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as a
lesson in PATIENCE. St. Thomas Aquinas declares
that to see the virtue of PATIENCE in action, we
must look at Jesus on the Cross. St. Aelred prescribes grateful
remembrance of the wonderful PATIENCE of Christ as
the unfailing key which opens the door to loving and pardoning our
The PATIENCE of our Lord opens not only the
door of redemption for all humanity, but also the door of grace for
each member of the human family. Christ never forces Himself into a
life (He respects our freedom too much for that), but gently,
persistently, PATIENTLY, He knocks upon the door of
the human heart, waiting for a response.
The conversion of Francis of Assisi is a beautiful manifestation
of our Lord's PATIENCE. Step by step, grace by
grace, Jesus invited the merchant's son to a whole-hearted living of
the Gospel. Francis, which is it better to serve, the master or the
servant? Francis. go repair My house which you see is falling into
ruin. Jesus waited until Francis was ready — and we know what
happened after that!
PATIENCE has opened and continues to open so
many doors in our lives, too. We need only look back to be amazed at
how long and often God waited for us, how gently yet persistently He
nudged us forward, how PATIENTLY He prepared both
the joys and the sufferings in our lives that would conform us more
fully to His Son. The simple Scriptural dictum: Now He waits is
proved true again and again as the Lord waits for our contrition,
our conversion, our response to His grace, our going through the
doors of spiritual growth that His PATIENCE daily
opens to us.
What an incentive this is to cultivate PATIENCE! PATIENCE
opens the door to perseverance and to peace. In person-to-person
relationships, the opening power of PATIENCE can
swing wide the doors of mutual trust, forgiveness and understanding.
Open to me the gates of holiness we pray with the Psalmist. One can
hear God reply: "Take up the key of PATIENCE, and
it will be opened to you."