A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit (cont’d)

by Maria Kennedy

by Maria Kennedy

Patience 1

Bearing provocation without complaint, loss of temper etc; quiet, steady perserverance. Dictionary.com 

For me, patience is often about waiting for things to happen in God’s time and being able to accept this in good grace.

Barbara was a mother of four boys. Barbara prayed hard in her third and final pregnancy for a girl but it wasn’t to be. It seemed God hadn’t answered her prayers in the way she had hoped. There was no changing the gift of her four, healthy, robust lads.

Barbara had a long wait for a girl. It wasn’t until her retirement years, with grandchildren coming into the picture, that a very special girl called Susan was born, Barbara’s first granddaughter.

“Pink at last,” rejoiced Barbara.

The family knew of Barbara’s long wait for a girl and this was one of the reasons why Anna, Susan’s mum, invited Barbara to view some of Susan’s ballet classes. Susan was only four but it was Barbara’s joy to watch the pink-slippered girls pointing their toes and raising their arms out in front into first position. Anna had lost count of the times over the years she had heard Barbara say how she’d missed out on all this girlish stuff but Anna could tell it was simply her mother-in-law’s way of explaining how much she was enjoying being among the pink-frilled girls at long last.

Sometimes Susan got dropped off at her Nana’s for an afternoon so they could give their older son Matthew some one-on-one time and at other times it was vice versa. There was no need to convince either of them to stay. They both liked it there. Susan got to sit like a princess on a stool with all the fussing her Nana made of her.

It was after one of these afternoons when Susan and the family had left that Barbarba reflected back on how everything had unfolded.

“I so wanted a little girl but instead I got a granddaughter. I have four wonderful sons and I wouldn’t be without any of them. I am truly blessed.”

Roger smiled. “God has been very patient with you waiting to hear you say that.”

Patience 2 

“Grandad what’s in the news?” asked Matthew.

Roger put the paper down, “Terrible news,” he replied, “you don’t want to know.”

“Yes I do,” answered Matthew sidling up to his Grandad on the two-seater couch. “Tell me Grandad.”

“Well a middle-aged man was killed on the road yesterday. He tried to pass on the yellow no passing lines and drove head-on into a truck coming the other way. He was killed instantly.”

“I wish he’d waited until it was safe to pass.”

“Yes it’s a pity when people get killed that way. They’re in too much of a hurry and they lose patience.”

“What do you mean Grandad?”

“Let me put it this way,” said Matthew’s Grandad, Roger. “The reason why that driver decided to cross the yellow lines is because he didn’t want to wait. He hadn’t learnt how to wait or understood that waiting was much, much better than taking a risk. Patience, that’s all he needed.”

“Is that all Grandad?” replied Mathew folding his arms with deliberate thought. “Well I can wait. I’m very good at waiting.”

“I’m very pleased to hear that. Then you will make a very good driver one day and I won’t have to worry when I hear you have your driver’s licence.”

“That’s right Grandad. I’m going to be a good driver and I will drive you and Nana anywhere you want to go.”

Matthew’s Grandad laughed. “Yes -- by the time you can drive I probably won’t be allowed to.”Kiddycar

Roger started reading the newspaper again. Roger expected his grandson to run off and see what else was happening in the house. Barbara was in the kitchen with Susan making chocolate chip biscuits. Matthew sat there beside him neither talking nor making any attempt at doing anything else. A short time later, Matthew started kicking his legs, one at a time against the sofa. On and on it went. There was only so much of this Roger could take.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m practising my patience.”

It was on the tip of Roger’s tongue to suggest Matthew should practise his patience somewhere else. Instead Roger tried his best to carry on reading. He reasoned his patience could last a little longer yet.

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