Patience is the essential weapon of peace. With patience, we can accept another person--and ourselves--as they are. We do not seek to control, dominate, or eliminate.
Patience is an act of nonviolence. It is a way of validating another person, telling them that they have a right to be in the world just as they are. Patience is the fruit of of living out the principles of nonviolence:
- Be courageous. When we are courageous, we are no longer motivated by fear. We are free of the disappointment, anxiety, and worry that accompanies fear and often prove to be the greatest obstacles to patience.
- Seek understanding. Impatience is caused when we are unable to see the world from any perspective other than our own. When we seek understanding, we develop our capacity to see the world from other perspectives.
- Act with compassion. We are all victims, even those who commit acts of evil. When we recognize that, we can show all people compassion. Patience is, after all, a form of compassion.
- Be vulnerable. Compassion means "to suffer with." We have to be willing to endure suffering for the good of others. We have to make ourselves vulnerable. The more we can do that, the more patient we will be.
- Choose love. Love consists in sharing what we have and who we are with others. Love also consists is accepting what others have to share with us. Love teaches us how to accept what others--and the world--have to offer, which is what patience is all about.
- Believe in justice. The universe is converging toward love and love is the source of justice, of living rightly with others. By believing in justice, we can accept the universe as it is because we know it is ultimately headed toward love.
Peace is not the destination of our spiritual journeys. Rather, peace is the manner in which we make our pilgrimages. And patience is our companion in that journey.
Take a moment and settle your mind, body, and spirit. Breathe in God's love; exhale God's peace.
Say the following phrase: May I be well. May I be safe. May I be happy and at peace.
Focus you attention on yourself. Allow your heart to be filled with these intentions and let them overflow into your whole being.
Bring to mind someone you love, someone who fell a strong bond and affection toward. Repeat the following phrase: May you be well. May you be safe. My I be happy and at peace. As before, allow your heart to be filled with your intention, and let them overflow into you whole being and spill into this person.
Repeat this for someone for whom you have a mild affection for, someone you are indifferent toward, and toward someone who causes you suffering or anxiety. In each case, allow your heart to be filled with happiness, peace, and goodwill toward the people you imagine, and let the intentions overflow and spill into them.
Finally, focus you attention on creation--it may be an idyllic spot, a beloved animal, or an image of the cosmos. Repeat the following phrase: May the universe be filled with happiness and peace. Allow your heart to fill with these intentions and spill into all creatures, animate and inanimate.
Close with a simple Amen.