Week 3 & 4 Meditation: "Grant me the spirit of moderation, humility and patience"
What a refreshing gift we are given for weeks 3 and 4 of our Lenten meditation. The first two weeks we were given 4 bad habits to avoid: laziness, idle curiosity, love of power, and vain talk. We begin our 3rd-week meditation by intentionally embracing two virtues: moderation and humility. First, Moderation (σωφρόσυνη), really means that we take stock in ourselves. The following ancient Greek proverbs come to mind; “know thyself” & “nothing in excess”. Moderation is a welcomed virtue as it allows us to exhale from the excesses of life and begin to know ourselves apart from the many things that distract us.
Secondly, this week we are called to embrace Humility. When we consider humility, we think of humble people, people who are selfless and look for no praise as they express their faith and works in such a way as to not gain attention. One way I find helpful in understanding and trying to bring the virtue of humility into my life is by considering what humility is not: pride, arrogance, egotistical, pretentious, etc.
Now, for our 4th-week meditation, having recently celebrated the Veneration of the Holy Cross we were offered a daffodil. The daffodil symbolizes the patience which springs forth from the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross strengthens us and propels us into the final weeks of Great Lent. Having meditated on bad habits to avoid and virtues to embrace the first 3 weeks, we are given Patience to intentionally focus on.
Patience is the state of restraint when we are tested and tempted to become reactionary to people or events in our lives. The Cross reminds us that, with patience, there is a resurrection to come. Just as death is not an end, but a steppingstone to Paradise, patience is the bud on a tree branch that will blossom into a colorful flower in the weeks to come. Any relationship or worthy goal without patience will fail if we do not allow God to work through us. Our relationship with Jesus Christ and our Lenten journey is no different.
Covid-19 has tested all our patience this past year. At different times we may feel that we have even given up, feeling deflated and disenchanted. As we have an apparent light at the end of the tunnel, let our meditation on patience allow us to look beyond covid and begin to focus on healing our children, families, community, and ourselves.
Let us meditate on patience every morning for a few minutes. If we do, I assure you we will find dozens of opportunities to practice it throughout the day, every day. Do this for a week and you will find God working through you to blossom and enrich relationships in your life, especially the one that matters most, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As we build on our weeks of spiritual growth, I pray the gifts we receive during these two weeks (moderation, humility and patience), become a blessing for you as we invite them into our every day and begin to blossom as children of God.