"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68


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Wednesday of the First Week of Great Lent
Commentary of the day
Saint Cyprian (c.200-258), Bishop of Carthage and martyr
The good of patience, 4-5 ; PL 4, 624-625 (©Fathers of the Church Inc.)

Imitating God's patience

But how wonderful and how great is the patience of God!... He makes the day to rise and the sun to shine equally over the good and the evil (Mt 5,45). When he waters the earth with showers no one is excluded from his benefits, but he bestows his rains without distinction on the just and the unjust alike. We see that, at the will of God, with an indivisible uniformity of patience toward the guilty and the innocent, the religious and the impious, the grateful and the ungrateful, the seasons obey and the elements serve, the winds blow, fountains flow, harvests increase in abundance, the fruits of the vines ripen, trees are heavy with fruit, the groves become green, and the meadows burst into flower... And although vengeance is within his power, he prefers to be long-suffering in his patience, that is, waiting steadfastly and delaying in his mercy, so that, if it is at all possible, the long career of malice at some time may change, and man... may be converted to God even at a late hour, as he himself warns and says: “I desire not the death of the one who is dying but rather that he turn to me again and live” (Ez 33,11). And again: “Return to the Lord your God for he is merciful and loving and patient and rich in pity” (Jl 2,13)...

Now, Jesus tells us: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5,48). He said that it is in this way that the sons of God are made perfect; he showed that it is in this way that we attain our goal, and he taught that we are restored by a heavenly birth if the patience of God the Father abides in us, if the divine likeness which Adam lost by sin be manifested and shine in our actions. What glory it is to become like God! What wonderful and what great happiness it is to possess among our virtues what can be put on a par with the divine merits!

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