The Catholic Church in Myanmar had been “tested through its patience,” especially in the last six months, with the “multi-layered challenges,” including the pandemic and the military coup.
“Catholics have suffered a lot. Our churches have been attacked. Many of our people are refugees in our own land,” said Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon.
The church leader noted the “collapse of the economy and climate changes” as among the challenges Myanmar continues to face.
The cardinal spoke for about an hour on “the Divine Patience in the Eucharist” on Wednesday, the third day of catechesis at the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest.
In his talk, Cardinal Bo stressed the importance of patience, contrary to the “feverish pitch” that the modern man lives.
“Look at our world and our lives. The modern man lives in a feverish pitch. He is in a tearing hurry. He is rushing all the time. He is restless. He wants to acquire more, consume more,” said the cardinal.
He said that while people these days “abhors silence” and considers speed as the “number one value today” and being slow “is considered a vice, a waste of time,” “Jesus waits.”
“He came to us because he loves us,” said Cardinal Bo.
“Time is not a commodity; it is a communion of hearts. Jesus waits patiently in the Eucharist,” he said, adding that life is “not a fast-food restaurant; it is a patient pilgrimage.”
“Fast internet may connect smartphones; only patience connects hearts,” said the cardinal.
He called the pandemic an “irritating teacher of patience” because it “taught us this virtue in the most painful way.”
“COVID robbed us of our Sunday Communion, Eucharist, the source and summit of our spiritual life,” he said, even as it brought “spiritual and emotional challenges.”
“But through this darkness, the Lord has worked to rebuild us to have patience amidst this existential threat,” he said.
Cardinal Bo said “patience is one of the great virtues of Christian tradition.” – with a report from CNA