Richard Clarke, S.J. - Small booklet - 32 pages
Patience, although neither the highest, nor the most fundamental virtue (those would be charity and humility) is first of all a first-fruit of humility and a bridge to charity. It is a first-fruit because those who are possessed of humility know the fragility of their own nature and accomplishments and how they are totally dependant upon God’s grace in all things and are therefore patient with their own failings. This leads to their learning how to be patient with other things, the so-called physical sufferings of life, and patient with others, since they know how to suffer patiently within themselves and for God, thus acting as a bridge to the fruitful practice of charity, the highest of virtues.
Patience and suffering go hand in hand, and since the most important work that we do in this life is to suffer well and in offering that suffering in union with the redemptive sufferings of Our Blessed Lord and his most Sorrowful Mother, patience—that which makes suffering rational, bearable, and fruitful—is one of the most important virtues to acquire and practice magnanimously.
Father Clarke makes this, and so much else clear and understandable in this short but potent explication of patience.