The deadly virtues 2: Patience

Road rage, air rage, trolley rage, diss rage (read knifings). Ron Ferguson had a quip once about a woman who was furious with her hairdresser when the colour ran in the rain: ‘Rage, rage against the lightening of the dye’.

A little patience would make life a lot more pleasant and a lot safer. And yet, we keep being patient with all the wrong things. Landless Latin American peasants who wanted to change the oppressive political and economic structures under which they lived had patience preached to them by the Church for too long.

‘…with the Lord one day is like a thousand years’ (2 Peter, 3.8, quoting Ps. 90.4). Indeed, we have to wait for God’s purposes to be worked out; but I pray, ‘God give me impatience’ and a holy rage against

  • injustice
  • cruelty
  • the oppression of minorities (racial, religious, sexual, linguistic, cultural)
  • discrimination against women
  • the complacency and arrogance of power in Church and state
  • the trade in lethal weapons
  • the despoliation of the planet
  • greed for profit, which has left us in a mess.

You’ll have your own list, but that’s probably enough for now.


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