Thursday, March 02, 2017

Lent II

My brethren, count it all joy, when you shall fall into divers temptations; knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. And patience hath a perfect work; that you may be perfect and entire, failing in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

We ought therefore to be saddened not if we are tempted but if we have been overcome by temptations.

Knowing that the testing of your faith works patience. For this reason, he says, you are being tempted by adversities, that you may learn the virtue of patience and that through this you may be able to show and test that you have in your heart a firm faith in the future reward. What Paul says, Knowing that tribulation works patience, patience proof, ought not to be considered contradictory to this passage but rather in agreement. For patience works proof, because he whose patience cannot be overcome is proven perfect. This also is taught here thoroughly in what follows, when it is said:

Let patience have a perfect work. And again, the testing of faith works patience, because that love of reasoning causes the faithful to be trained through patience, that through it the degree of the perfection of their faith may be tested.

(Bede, Commentary on the Seven Catholic Epistles, Hurst, tr., Cistercian Publications (Kalamazoo: 1985), pp. 8-9.)

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