October 20, 2008
Julian Meditations

September, 2008

The Grace of Patience

by Brian C. Taylor

HUMILITY IS, FOR ALL THE GREAT TEACHERS in the contemplative tradition, absolutely essential to the life of prayer and transformation, and a sure sign of the work of the Spirit. It is not only that suffering that brings humility, for in suffering we know that we cannot control what happens to us, but it gives us also a clear awareness of our sinful tendencies.

Humility is also brought about simply by the impossible difficulty of sitting repeatedly in silent prayer. Whoever thinks that they are "good" at prayer, and a "spiritual" person, will soon have those illusions dashed after a little while in silence!

It is a humbling experience indeed to discover that we cannot control our mind, we cannot "reach" God by deciding to do so, and we cannot remain "pure."

Through the discipline of sitting still in meditation through whatever may emerge, we learn the grace of patience. And through patience we are transformed to see God in all, to know the reality that eventually rejoices even in suffering.

Taken from Becoming Christ: Transformation Through Contemplation by Brian C. Taylor (Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2002) p. 205,6.