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Over weeks and months the maple trees along the Tiber have been vested anew. The rich green foliage that now covers them did not appear overnight. The branches at one time were bare, stripped to the very bone; then a spray of green appeared; next tiny leaves grew in size even as
they changed colour. After months they have now reached their fullness.

In Nature nothing happens suddenly. Even when a storm breaks forth with seeming suddenness
in all its fury, we need to remember that it was already brewing before. Its breaking forth may be sudden but its brewing is gradual. This is true even of trees that fall. They do not fall overnight. There is a gradual weakening and rotting of the roots until the final and total collapse. Thus have even cedars of Lebanon fallen! Fruits too do not mature overnight. They take time to ripen. They mature slowly, steadily but surely. And if the process is hurried and their maturity hustled through, they lose their original savour and flavour.

Nature needs time for patience is Gods rhythm. And this is true even of supernature, of life in the Spirit. Saints are not born overnight. They are fashioned over a lifetime. Sanctity, like growth and maturity, is a slow and painful process. Holiness is the art of learning to keep pace with God's rhythm. Perfection can for patience. At times, we want to be saints in a hurry and we get impatient with ourselves. Growth seems to take so long. And maturity never seems to be attained!

Patience is the capacity to suffer. And God is patient because He is eternal. Indeed patience is His rhythm!

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