General Spirituality

Cyprian of Carthage On Patience!

Patience is a thing of God, and whoever is gentle, and patient, and meek, is an imitator of God the Father.

Accordingly, when the Lord in His Gospel was giving precepts for salvation, and, bringing forth divine warnings, was instructing His disciples to perfection, He said:

“…I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them which persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven”.

He said that the children of God would thus become perfect.

He showed that they were thus completed, and taught that they were restored by a heavenly birth, if the patience of God our Father dwell in us—if the divine likeness, which Adam had lost by sin, be manifested and shine in our actions.

What a glory is it to become like to God! What and how great a felicity, to possess among our virtues, that which may be placed on the level of divine praises!

[…] He also maintained the patience of His Father in the constancy of His endurance. All His actions, even from His very advent, are characterized by patience as their associate.

First of all, coming down from that heavenly sublimity to earthly things, the Son of God did not scorn to put on the flesh of man, and although He Himself was not a sinner, to bear the sins of others.

His immortality being in the meantime laid aside, He suffers Himself to become mortal, so that the guiltless may be put to death for the salvation of the guilty.

The Lord is baptized by the servant; and He who is about to bestow remission of sins, does not Himself disdain to wash His body in the laver of regeneration.

For forty days He fasts, by whom others are feasted. He is hungry, and suffers famine, that they who had been in hunger of the word and of grace may be satisfied with heavenly bread.

He wrestles with the devil tempting Him; and, content only to have overcome the enemy, He strives no farther than by words.

He ruled over His disciples not as servants in the power of a master, but, kind and gentle, He loved them with a brotherly love.

He deigned even to wash the apostles’ feet, that since the Lord is such among His servants, He might teach, by His example, what a fellow-servant ought to be among his peers and equals.

Cyprian of Carthage : On Patience, 5-6.

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