"To bear wrongs patiently" and "to forgive offenses willingly" are two more of the seven Spiritual Works of Mercy. We've spoken of forgiveness more than once here, so let's look for a moment at bearing wrongs patiently. Perhaps if we were able to do this, we wouldn't need to forgive so much.
Bearing wrongs patiently, bearing anything patiently, seems to have gone out of style. It seems to be quite acceptable to "blow your top", vent your anger, yell at people and tell them off. Sometimes we are advised, by well-meaning people, not to hold things in but to let it all out. But is there not a time and place for letting things out? Rather than blowing up with a co-worker or yelling at a service person, it is often more effective to get ourselves under control and calmly, rationally interact with the other person. The calm, rational part is bearing wrongs patiently. Being kind to the spouse who has forgotten your anniversary (again) is bearing wrongs patiently. Walking behind your teenager who doesn't want to be seen with you is bearing wrongs patiently. A dozen examples a day may come to mind of the opportunity to practice this spiritual work of mercy. This work of mercy seems to me to work both ways - it is a mercy to both the practitioner and the recipient.
For Reflection: When in this past week have I lost it with someone? Did I apologize later? When has someone borne patiently the wrong that I have done? Is there a way to make amends now and thank them for being patient with me?
Reflect on Matthew 18:23-35.
Let us pray. Jesus, you have borne all my wrongs more than patiently. You died on the cross for them. Help me to do just a fraction of that for others.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.