I was immediately transported back to a memorable summer holiday with my mom and dad, when we toured HMS Victory in Portsmouth. I had just read an article about Michael Byard, an enterprising 80 year old, who has just finished buildinga model of Nelson’s famous flagship. It had taken him almost half a century to complete. That’s tremendous flare,dedication and long-term vision in action for you!
As we continue to rebuild, in such challenging times, we need to focus on developing key skills like these. But,what lies at the foundation of any plan we may construct and attempt to realise, is the overlooked virtue which St Frances de Sales draws our attention to – lest we rush ahead too soon:
“Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. I mean, do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage. I am glad you make a fresh beginning daily; there is no better means of attaining to the spiritual life than by beginning again, and never thinking that we have done enough. How are we to be patient in bearing with our neighbour’s faults, if we are impatient in bearing with our own? He or she who is fretted by their own failings will not correct them; all profitable correction comes from a calm, peaceful mind.”
Fr Peter Conley