Dear Ones,
Hope you have a grace-filled day! We just had a shower and everything looks very fresh and green. Al is at a men’s group and I will spend the day on retreat in our apt as you will be reading why…I look rather scary!  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   Patience is a fruit of the Spirit and it is a beautiful fruit that comes often through some hard knocks in our lives. I have heard people say, “Be careful if you pray for patience as you will be tested on it!” If we are honest, we probably all have prayed often for patience when we feel irritated by negative words or behavior of others, when praying and not seeing answers right away, or going through difficult things ourselves.
   I am in the middle of such a situation as I had two teeth extracted and thought I would sail through it and be ready to socialize the same day. But the truth is, I kept bleeding and swelled up and would rather no one saw me with my big lip, swollen cheek and jaw. I have to be patient as the nurse called yesterday and said it would swell for another couple days, so I have to give it time to heal, and for the stitches to absorb.
    Patience comes from the Latin root word, to suffer, and patience is caring suffering. We need patience with our own failings and also to support others in their weaknesses. St. Benedict said that “we should support the physical and moral defects of one another with the greatest patience.” How that plays out in each of us is different. What causes us to want to lift up our hands and loudly say, “I can’t take this any longer!” is different for everyone. The big area I lose patience is when the computer goes on the fritz. It makes me either want to scream or cry. Recently I wrote a devotion and it disappeared 2 times. I had to write it a 3rd time, and I wondered if the enemy didn’t want it put out for you to read or was my patience being tested.
  Patience is the martyrdom of the self in situations when we have to die more. That is not easy but there are rich rewards. When the Lord puts us in situations that severely try our patience, we have to choose to die to self and depend on Him wholly. We may be in work situations where the boss is difficult but we can either complain when things don’t go the way we think is best, or we can pray and offer suggestions if the door opens. But the bottom line is    a continual practicing of patience with others and ourselves.
  Challenge for today: The next time you are tempted to complain, give it to the Lord and patiently wait for what He is showing you through it.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy