Josef Pieper: “Patience”

As usual, Pieper cuts to the heart of the paradoxes underlying reality. Patience does not flee from evil or succumb to it, but puts it in its proper place.

Dover Beach

Josef Pieper

“Patience is not the indiscriminate acceptance of any sort of evil: “It is not the one who does not flee from evil who is patient but rather the one who does not let himself thereby be drawn into disordered sadness.” To be patient means not to allow the serenity and discernmet of one’s soul to be taken away. Patience, then, is not the tear-streaked mirror of a “broken” life (as one might almost think, to judge from what is frequently shown and praised under this term) but rather is the radiant essence of final freedom from harm. Patience is, as Hildegard of Bingen states, “the pillar that is weakened by nothing.”

Josef Pieper, Brief Reader on the Virtues of the Human Heart

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