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Why St. Paul of the Cross highlighted patience as a key virtue


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Philip Kosloski - published on 10/20/22 - updated on 10/16/23

St. Paul of the Cross believed patience was a virtue everyone needs to practice.

While there are many different virtues that Christians should practice, St. Paul of the Cross singled out the virtue of patience in one of his letters.

He explains in his letter, featured in the Office of Readings, “[B]e constant in practicing every virtue, and especially in imitating the patience of our dear Jesus, for this is the summit of pure love.

St. Paul of the Cross points to the patience of Jesus as an example for us all, especially Jesus’ patience during his Passion.

Live in such a way that all may know that you bear outwardly as well as inwardly the image of Christ crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy. For if a man is united inwardly with the Son of the living God, he also bears his likeness outwardly by his continual practice of heroic goodness, and especially through a patience reinforced by courage, which does not complain either secretly or in public. Conceal yourselves in Jesus crucified, and hope for nothing except that all men be thoroughly converted to his will.

Jesus patiently accepted the cross, enduring great physical torment, without complaining at all. His example is truly the “summit of pure love,” and shows to us how we are to be patient with others.

As we examine our own practice of patience, we can turn to Jesus and ask him to help us be more patient in our lives.

Spiritual LifeVirtue
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