Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Patience is a Virtue


Patience - is waiting.
A virtue, they say.
Much like the last chance,
When life gets in the way.

An admirable trait
In the gang to the rear of ya . . .
If only the dawdlers ahead
Had stayed clear of ya.

It's kind of a hope.
And it's kind of a stall.
Though it probably outlives . . .
No patience at all.

notes on Patience is a Virtue: 

In Catholic Catechism, the Seven Christian Virtues refers to the Cardinal Virtues of:  prudence, justice, temperance and courage (from ancient Greek philosophy) and the Theological Virtues of:  faith, hope and charity or love (from the letters of St. Paul).  This list of virtues is often referred to as the Canonical List.

Interesting, this list is quite different from the list of Seven Heavenly Virtues in which “patience” first appeared as a virtue.  This list is from the enormously popular 4th century, epic poem, entitled Psychomachia (or Battle/Contest of the Soul) by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius.  The poem is about the battle between the Seven Virtues and the Seven Deadly Sins.  The Seven Virtues are identified as:  chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility (the practice of which protects one from the Seven Deadly Sins:  lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride).  

The actual proverb:  Patience is a Virtue, has been traced back to 'Piers Plowman' (1377) by William Langland.

photo:  Traffic Jam Patience - W. Bourke 

© 2011 Wendy Bourke


  1. If only the dawdlers ahead
    Had stayed clear of ya. :)

    Enjoyed the read, including the interesting info in the note!

  2. I do enjoy, I must say, the little tidbits I turn up when I set out to clarify something I've written in a poem (and I'm pleased to hear that there are others who enjoy them, too). After I wrote this poem, for example, I found myself wondering - why is patience a virtue and where did that maxim come from? Let's face it, if you found yourself on the Family Feud Game Show and the category was "Blank is a Virtue" - many people would answer "Patience". But why? I'm often caught by surprise when I come upon it and - there it is: the reason some small little thing, we all take for granted, is the way it is.

  3. ha. patience is one of those virtues that i am constantly learning...and its not so much people as things that i get impatient with...i dunno...ha...