What a beautiful quality is patience! It brings to mind such Christian attributes as steadfastness, kindliness, serenity, calm endurance in seeming adversity, and unwavering faith in the goodness and eternal rightness of God's creation. Sometimes the meaning of a word can be brought into sharper relief by a consideration of its opposites. The reverse of patience would be impatience, self-will, anxious doubt, restlessness. Surely these qualities can be clearly recognized as unlovely and undesirable, and never attributable to Deity, unchanging Love, in whose image and likeness man is made.

To the Christian Scientist, patience means a deepening understanding of God's allness and His methods of unfoldment. Some of the best loved and most familiar Bible verses are concerned with admonitions to patience. The Psalmist directed the people to "rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him" (Ps, 37:7); in his letter to the Hebrews Paul wrote (12:1), "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebr. 12:1). And James in his epistle counseled patience, saying (1:4), "Let patience have her perfect work," and (5:8), "Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."

Resignation must not be mistaken for patience. A practitioner once said to the writer, "Never be resigned to anything that is wrong." Resignation is an act of hopeless surrender and acquiescence. A Christian Scientist cannot afford to surrender to error in any form, because to do so would be to believe in its reality and to suffer the effects of such an illusion. Again, Christian patience is far removed from Oriental fatalism; nor does it bide its time to achieve a willful, personally desired end. It is devoid of menace. It is not a passive quality, but alert and active, listening for divine guidance. It calls for laying aside selfish human outlining and praying with joyful understanding (Matt. 6: 10), "Thy will be done." Mary Baker Eddy's revelation of the inevitability of good in a universe created by God, perfect Mind or divine Love, makes for patience with ourselves and others in our demonstration of the perfect man, made in God's likeness..

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November 21, 1953

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