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19 February 2018

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02/12/2018 VATICAN

Pope: patience, virtue of those who are persecuted, like Christians in the Middle East

Unlike "defeat" and "resignation", Christian patience is the "virtue" of "those on a journey". "And when you go on a journey, many things happen that are not always good. The attitude of parents when a sick or disabled child is born, tells me so much about patience on the journey. 'But thank God he is alive!': These are the patient people".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “Patience is the virtue” of the many who are on their journey and bear difficulties and trials on their shoulders, like many Christians persecuted and chased out of the Middle East, because they are Christians. This thought for persecuted Christians marked Pope Francis’ homily at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by a phrase of St. James the Apostle:“The testing of your faith produces patience”.

Patience in life and in the face of trials certainly not easy to understand, the Pope said. Christian patience is neither “resignation” nor an attitude of “defeat,” he continued. Rather, it is a virtue of those who are “on the journey,” those who are moving forward, rather than stopping and becoming closed off. When you are on the journey, many things happen that are not always good. For me, the attitude of parents when a child is born sick or disabled says a lot about patience as a virtue on the journey. “But thank God that [our child] is alive!” [They might say.] These are people with patience. And they bear the life of that child with love, even to the end. And it is not easy care for a disabled or sick child year after year after year… but the joy of having that child gives them the strength to go forward. And this is patience, not resignation – that is, it is the virtue that comes when one is on the journey. 

Pope Francis spoke about the etymology of the word, saying “patience” carries with it the sense of responsibility, because it signifies bearing with suffering, rather than letting it go. And, he continued, suffering is borne with joy, gladness, “perfect joy,” according to the Apostle: “Patience means “bearing with,” not entrusting problems to another, who bears the difficulty: “I bear it, this is my difficulty, my problem. Is something causing me suffering? Eh, certainly! But I bear it.” To bear with it. And patience is also the wisdom of being able to dialogue with the limits. There are many limits in life, but impatience doesn’t want them, it ignores them because it doesn’t know how to dialogue with limits. There is some kind of fantasy of omnipotence, or of laziness, we don’t know”.

But this patience St James speaks about is not simply a “counsel” for Christians, the Pope explained. “If we look at the history of salvation,” he said, “we can see the ‘patience of God, our Father,’ who has led and carried His ‘stubborn people’ forward each time they strayed one way or the other.” And the Father shows this patience, too, to each one of us, “accompanying us,” and “waiting” for the right time. God also sent His Son, that He might “enter into patience,” “taking up His mission,” and offering Himself decisively in His Passion.

“And here I think of our persecuted sisters and brothers in the Middle East,” the Pope said, being “chased away” precisely because they are Christians: “And yet they are determined to remain Christians: they have embrace patience just as the Lord embraced patience. With these ideas, perhaps, we can pray today, pray for our people: “Lord, give to your people patience to bear their trials.” And can also pray for ourselves. So often we are impatient: When things don’t go our way, we complain. But, step back for a moment, think about the patience of God the Father, embrace patience, as Jesus did. Patience is a beautiful virtue. Let us ask the Lord for it”.

 






See also

03/10/2013 MIDDLE EAST - VATICAN
Patriarch Youhanna of Antioch: The encounter with Pope Francis was warm and historic
Between September 26 and October 1 the pontifex met Greek Orthodox Patriarch: "Together against the crises afflicting the Mashreq countries".

02/10/2014 VATICAN
Pope: nothing justifies the suffering imposed on Christians in the Middle East
In his meeting with Mar Dinkha IV, patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Francis slammed the "daily persecution" of Christians and members of other religious minorities. The patriarch's visit "is another step on the way towards a growing closeness and spiritual communion between us, after the bitter misunderstandings of the past centuries."

20/10/2014 VATICAN
Pope: We cannot resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians
Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have had to leave their homes in a brutal way" and "in the general indifference of so many". Cardinal Pietro Parolin: international community must respond to the terrorism of the Islamic State with a negotiated solution to all the problems in the Middle East, starting from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

19/11/2013 MIDDLE EAST - VATICAN
Eastern Patriarchs to meet pope to discuss the future of Christians in the Middle East
The meeting, which will run from today to Friday, is set to focus on the Eastern churches in the 50 years since Vatican II. Eastern patriarchs will talked to the Pope about the plight of Christians in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. The prelates will also discuss the relationship with Orthodox Churches and the problem of the exodus of Christians from the region.

22/06/2017 15:32:00 VATICAN
Pope: The Churches of the East are alive, despite persecution and terrorism

Receiving the participants at the "Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches" Assembly, Francis recommends the formation of the clergy. "Let us not forget that in the East even today, Christians - no matter whether Catholics, Orthodox, or Protestants - spill their blood as a seal of their witness."




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