It is said in the Gospel: ‘In your patience you shall possess your souls’ (Luke 21.19). In all human life patience is very necessary: for we have to suffer patiently the injuries inflicted upon us by others, and the tribulations that come our way. Very often in this passing age the good have to endure afflictions from the wicked. If someone suffers for his good deeds, however, he should not say to himself: ‘I have lost all the good I have ever done.’ For someone who says this is revealed as having done good deeds, not out of love for God, but for the reward of happiness in this life or from the desire for human praise.

…No one is truly wise who does not possess patience; as it is said, ‘Better is he that rules his spirit than he who seizes a city!’ (Proverbs 16.32). In patience alone may be sought the capacity to forgive rather than the opportunity for revenge. There are indeed those who suffer patiently some temporary injuries so that later their vindication may be all the more apparent; but these do not possess true patience. For true patience consists of bravely sustaining injuries even to one’s face, never seeking some future revenge, but instead forgiving from the heart. Thus without either iron or flame we can all be martyrs daily if we keep patience in our souls towards those nearest to us. For is more praiseworthy to turn away an injury through silence than to seek victory by reply. A person who bears evil patiently will merit in the future an eternal crown.

Alcuin of York, translated by Douglas Dales

The above quotation comes from A Mind Intent on God: The Prayers and Spiritual Writings of Alcuin by Douglas Dales. We heartily recommend it.

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