Best way to learn patience?


I have a big problem with this, Im constantly impatient thru out the day, whether Im sitting at a red light, waiting in line at the store, etc. I get myself upset sometimes, actually getting mad at someone taking longer than I think they should, or somehow being an inconvenience to me, almost to the point of hating them for it.

However some of the time, things like this do not bother me at all, I cannot tell from day to day what will set me off and what will not, its really annoying to be like this, and for the most part I usually do not have any great reason to be rushing.

Anyone know of some things to do to learn patience?


Part of what can make us impatient is physiological not spiritual, per se. Are you hungry when you get impatient? Are you tired? Have you had a bad day? All these things can affect our mood.

Having said that, Our Lord gave us the answer to this, of course. :wink: If we think of others as better than ourselves or even realize that they too might be having issues that day, and remind ourselves of these things when impatient it can help us “cool our jets,” relax and let the situation be what it is instead of wishing it were something else.

Traffic moves when it moves. People daydream or have things on their minds and so don’t move when we’d like them to, etc. Remember that everyone out there is just like you and me–imperfect human beings with a multitude of issues we’re dealing with. Remember this and pray for those who annoy you instead of castigating them in your heart/under your breath. That usually does the trick. :slight_smile:


Slowly… you know the probably causes so use that awareness… deep breath, clench then release your fists, keep still in body… deep breath… is this correlated to coffee? I still rage occasionally but by and large… and it is not patience, but tension by the way. Do you see what I mean?


I’m more and more convinced that patience is, for the most part, a side effect of, say for example: getting older, a near death experience, a life changing experience, working through very difficult situations, etc… I keep getting the sense that it belongs with the beatitudes, like: blessed are the weary, for they will be patient.

Being patient without any cause is extremely difficult.


If I am in line at the clinic, which often takes hours, I bring a book. I bring my Bible.

I’m thinking of saying prayers while I wait in line at other places or somehow doing something during the time I wait.


I remember a priest retreat master that advised us:

Say to our Lord Jesus Christ… … Jesus, be my patience…(not give me patience).

And, we can use that same method to say: Jesus, be my sense of humor…

Jesus, be my humility, Jesus, be my compassion, etc.

Another hint: Picture the bleeding Face of Jesus on the Cross.

As we practice the above, gradually it gets easier and easier if we are persistent.


A lot of great posts here! I agree with taking care of personal needs: hunger, thirst, sleep, etc It really can make all the difference. And as Dorothy posted asking Christ to BE your patience.

I have noticed that just as projects run over time/budget, the daily tasks of life take probably double the time we plan; due to constuction, accidents, slow drivers, someone who has coupons, but can’t find them, or any combo of reasons.
Ask yourself is it really the end of the world if this lady in front of me can’t find her money? Or wants to question the prices, etc.? Ask yourself, will it matter next week or even tomorrow?

I know a woman who took care of her parents who were in their 90s. They lived with her. I asked her how she stayed so patient and joyful as their caregiver. She said she did it out of love for them because they were such wonderful parents to her and she said she never lost patience because she said she came to terms with the fact that they will go through 12 adult disposable under garments per day and that every task would take longer. She did not try to change it/fight it. She said it was a reality and just accepted it!

A sense of humour helps too. My 90 yr old Grandma had always had a reputation for getting things done at lightening speed. It was common for her to use phrases like ; “No horse *****ing around” which meant sticking with the task at hand in a timely fashion. She had diabetes, arthritis, and both hips replaced over the years and was eventually using a walker. I asked her, “How’s it going, Grandma?” Her response,“Damn slow!” with a chuckle.

God bless you! I will pray for you!


Only God can provide you with the grace of patients, and only Satan is allowed to strip it from you in a test of righteousness.


Disagree, we can do this and many other virtues by our own will and willingness, and no-one can take it from us.

Anyone who has trained in eg ballet, piano, athletics etc knows this,

Patience is not a grace but a skill .


I knit. I see market traders bored to death and impatient, pacing up and down, eating food they do not want or need, and I sit there peacefully knitting… Praying too in between customers…

Hand knitting is so rare these days that foreign tourists stop to watch and take photos,


When you start being impatient pray a decade of the Rosary.


So neither God nor Satan can manipulate our patients? Indeed, we can do nothing on our own accord!


I think it comes down to us personally, I am the one who gets upset when a red light takes longer than I like, its my own self letting myself be effected. Im not sure what God or satan could or could not do to manipulate our patience one way or the other though, I mean, would/ could satan literally make sure little inconveniences occur in our daily lives…if they have this kind of power over our world, than we are all in trouble.


Well, as in the case of any virtue, it’s both/and, not either/or. Certainly patience is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but we have to be disposed to receive it, and then discipline ourselves to practice it. It’s the same with all the virtues. :slight_smile:


But this could not change day to day…right? I mean a person is either patient or impatient. I cannot understand how I can be both, sometimes with a difference of half a day or less, seems like it depends on my mood at a given time.


If your mood changes so much, you may have a physical condition that needs looking into. It couldn’t hurt to ask your doctor about it. Many people have low blood sugar and don’t know it, for example.

But like any virtue it needs to be consciously cultivated–especially when you first realize it’s a problem. You may want to pray for all those you’ll encounter, on and off the roads, before you leave the house. If you feel impatient, pray a Hail Mary instead of letting your temper get the better of you. Things like that.

But if this is an habitual problem, again, you may want to talk to your doctor. The answer could be something very simple to remedy–just by a small change in diet or when you eat, etc. I can’t say, of course, but it can’t hurt to check it out. :slight_smile:


Practice …repeat…practice again…


Short prayers.

Lifting ones mind and heart to God.

Recognize that which is within your control and what is not (traffic lights, traffic,lines).

Do good with what you can control (with what is within your ability to will and choose) and do not fret about what is not…there is no point).

St. Catherine of Siena notes that one actually can increase in patience by its opposite - meaning it is in being in such situations that you practice patience and thus can increase in it.


My ex wife used to say God was putting me in those certain situations to force me to learn patience, it does make sense, but it has not worked so well, Its almost like I cant help getting upset about it, just sort of happens.

Im trying this though, everytime I start getting impatient, stopping to ask myself, “why am I in such a rush” Even when it comes to my job everyday, the more I get done each day, the easier my life is, I dont punch a time clock, but I do have monthly deadlines, so I think this is why Im always in a hurry, no matter what Im doing.


You must be my twin!
I get upset easily, swearing, over-emoting, thinking the worst of people I can’t even see in cars.
The only way I know to patience is to practice it. Virtues are the practice of the thing.
One thing that has helped me is consequences. I now have pulled ligaments in my elbow from shaking my finger at the cat in the middle of the night. Seriously. I incurred an injury due to my petulance.
Then I tore a rotator cuff after getting irritated at a customer. I jerked my arm out in irritation after he left. My right arm is really in bad shape, and all of it is due to impatience. So, God is cementing a message that he has been giving me for years. I knew I had to change this, and now I know what happens when I am stubborn.
Oddly enough, these things always happen when no one is looking. In the presence of others my decorum is pretty good.

I try to focus on gratitude. Realizing how blessed I am takes the hurry and anxiety out of life.
Book recommendation:
**Romano Guardini: learning the virtues that lead you to God.
An outstanding book that had a calming influence on my life.


Patience is a moral virtue under the dominion of the cardinal virtue of fortitude. Perseverance is also under the same dominion. They both involve consistency and order amongst suffering. The soul that follows the will of God by the steadfast development in the cardinal virtue of prudence (the practical knowledge of how to obtain the true good rather than the serpentine vanity, and also the practical knowledge to avoid evil - cf. S. Thomas Aquinas) will encounter sufferings by the will of God’s good pleasure (He suffers when we are away from the cross, our cross relieves His cross). The heart that fully embraces God’s good pleasure (his will outside the commandments, counsels, etc. - cf. S. Francis de Sales) will develop patience - the guardian of the virtues (cf. S. Gregory the Great).

“The vis irascibilis represents the soul’s power to encounter the difficult and the arduous. In Plato, the vis irascibilis is the courageous or spirited part of the soul.” (Jean Gerson: Principles of Church Reform, Louis B. Pascoe) He goes on to say that this is affirmed by Dionysius. S. Thomas Aquinas affirms the vis irascibilis in similar statements throughout his Summa. He says that the vis irascribilis involves the senses (cf. STh I-II, q. 23, a. 1, c.) Thus, mortification of the senses goes a long way to obtain patience in the spirit of humility and obedience.

In final, the breaking of the will does much to obtain the spirit for the obtainment of humility and obedience. This is seen in the life of two monks, i.e., S. Anselm and S. Pachomius. Francis de Sales in his book Practical Piety explains that their submissiveness amongst the devout drew attention and was in great degree amongst the monks around them. Those two carried out statements a person of equal or lower rank would utter (statements that did not induce sin) in radical opposition of their own plan. As Father Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR - said - if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!

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