Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Take It Easy, Chief

So I just opened up, on a lark, a little daily devotional I have from the Catholic Book Publishing Co. called Every Day Is a Gift. The reading for the day goes:

SCRIPTURE: "By patient endurance you will save your lives," Luke 21:19.

REFLECTION: "Practice patience toward everyone, and especially toward yourself. Never be disturbed because of your imperfections, but always get up bravely after a fall," St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

PRAYER: "God of Patience, let me endure my imperfections without rebellion. Help me to be patient with myself as well as with others."

My first thought was, "Whoa." That's because being gentle and patient, with others and with myself have been big on my mind lately. I have also been thinking about how patience with others and patience with myself are related. Yesterday those thoughts had been especially frequent on my mind.

My second thought was, "Well, wait a minute." After all, some people don't care about their imperfections and their vices, don't try to root them out, but rather seem very happy to have them. Should we encourage them to be more patient with themselves, or more aggressive against their sins?

My third thought was, "Ah!" I cannot make a whit's difference in whether somebody else takes his faults seriously enough. I cannot even really know whether he takes them seriously or not. I probably can't even gauge whether he merely seems to take them seriously when he is near me. I am biased. I either like him or not; I either share his faults or not. That affects how I see things. I am not God. Better to let others worry about whether they are too patient or not. For me, it is best just to try to get rid of my faults, and be patient with myself and with others when faults pop up.

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