The truly patient monk is one who has trained his mind to look beyond present pain to ultimate realities. Patience is, accordingly, a work of faith. Without such a vision suffering is meaningless
There is no doubt that negative experience is the great challenge to faith and a source of temptation to abandon one’s commitment. It is also true that patience has a purifying effect on faith and commitment and leads to a more naked definition of selfhood.
One who has survived suffering knows that personal integrity is independent of goods and status and owes nothing to the attitudes and actions of others. It is the quality of a heart that has been hammered into humanity by this most universal of human experiences.
Michael Casey, OCSO