Patience Rewarded

St John Climacus

Mention is made in the Chronicles of St. Dominic of a novice of that Order, who died in the monastery of Argentina, and who opened his eyes unexpectedly, while the Religious were saying the last prayers for his soul, and said: “Listen, dearest Brothers: I am like one who goes to a fair, and buys a great deal for a little money. Behold, I am receiving the kingdom of heaven for a few trials, and I do not see how I deserve it.” Having spoken thus, he reposed in the Lord.

St. John Climacus says that he found in a monastery a young monk who received little penances from the Superior for trifling faults, and haughty and discourteous treatment from almost all the rest. The Saint showed sympathy for him, and wished to console him; but the good youth said: “Father, do not give yourself any trouble. They treat me in this way, not because they have bad dispositions and little charity, but the Lord permits it to exercise me in patience, which is necessary to show whether I am serving God truly. Certainly I have no cause to complain, for even gold is not made perfect without being tried.”

Two years after, added the holy Abbot, this youth passed to a better life, saying to his Brothers before he expired: “I render thanks to Jesus Christ and to you, Fathers, and I testify that through having been tried by you to my profit and advancement, I have lived free from the snares of the devil, and now depart in peace.”

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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