Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Smells and bells 7: patience

In Mark Galli's book Beyond Smells and Bells he has a chapter called "Drunken Sobriety" in which he talks about the difference between patience and impatience (among other things), and sorta how it's tied to the spiritual discipline of attending church worship services. I found it innaresting. He says on pp. 109-110:
The cure for impatience is not patience, as much as we might think it is. Impatience, after all, is the original sin: W.H. Auden said, "Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return." As such, impatience cannot be cured by will power, by just trying to be patient. We are no longer capable, by our own powers, of anything but impatience.

Instead we need to return again to the fountain of faith, the Spirit; for patience, along with love, joy, and peace, is a fruit of the Spirit. In practical terms what this means is simple: when we enter into liturgical worship, we look to the Spirit, who has been sent by the Father to manifest his Son. We do not look for a particular religious experience. We do not look to be edified. We do not look to be instructed.

We look to God. We worship him, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We do this on weeks we feel the joy of the Lord. We do this on weeks we only feel despair. We do this on weeks we feel nothing. And if we do this for weeks and years, slowly we'll find that the soul is gaining its own sort of intelligence, that we're apprehending things the mind and heart cannot fathom, we're entering into the divine presence, and that divine presence is entering into us.

Yep. I like that. This is also the last post about this book - it's done. Good book.