“Patience and perseverance. We do not have a 'magic wand' for everything, but we do have our trust in the Lord Who accompanies us and never abandons us.”

– Pope Francis

I'd like to believe that those who know me best might describe me using certain virtuous words. However, I am sure that the same people would never use the word "patient" in their description. Whether driving in the car, eating dinner with the children, or participating in a project meeting, things just need to go faster, especially when it's clear what the right answer or path is. And wouldn't you know it, I always think I know what the right path is. I am blessed to process information quickly and I am cursed to be constantly disappointed that other people can't seem to keep up.

Recently, I had a meeting in the city, and it was one of those instances where I just needed to be quiet lest my frustration show. After all, I knew the right answer, the only plausible path was straight ahead, and I couldn't see how they couldn't see. "Let's just go!" I was shouting in my head. As I started my drive home back to the suburbs, my GPS led me through North Philadelphia, one of the parts of our city that has struggled most with poverty, homelessness, and crime. The private high school I attended is in that part of the city and as a teenager I spent a lot of time helping with community service. But I hadn't driven those streets in a long time, and it broke my heart to see the neighborhoods I used to pass every day and the shape they are in now.

The sadness wasn't the only thing I felt. The long straight street I traveled might as well have been the surface of the moon. The crater-sized potholes were everywhere. There wasn't a lot of traffic or turns, hardly any streetlights (that still worked) and yet I had to slow down. I had to take each pothole carefully otherwise my car would be toast. Why did my GPS think this was the best route? As I looked at the map, it was clear it was the most direct way - the GPS just made an assumption the roads were in good shape.

Continuing my trek, I began to feel the poverty of my patience in the meeting earlier. I might have known the most direct way to get from point A to point B, but I had no sense of the potholes that lined that road for others: past hurts and history, real fears and pressures that don't change the route, but change how fast someone can get to the destination. How often in life and leadership do I fail to acknowledge or give grace and space to the potholes that others have to travel through? Am I aware of those craters for myself, those things that slow me down or prevent me from moving forward even when I know where I must go? How in our mercy, in our charity, in our patience, do we not only help point people in the right direction and tell them to go, but also smooth the road ahead? What opportunity is the Lord giving me when I have to slow down because I think people "just don't get it?"

As I emerged from North Philly and the road got easier to travel, I gave thanks to the Lord for the privilege to have a life that has been blessed with more smooth roads than I appreciate. As we continue this Lent, let's pray for the grace to remember that no matter how clear the path is ahead, we can't fully arrive at the destination unless we've done everything possible to try and bring others with us. Prayers that the Lord fills whatever potholes are on your road this week.

by Daniel Cellucci

March 18, 2024

Emboldening Our Clergy

CLI serves Church leaders, helping them rediscover their potential and forming them to be more intentional with those they serve.

View all
Igniting Our Parishes

CLI helps empower and energize Catholic leaders by providing focus and courage to engage the culture with an apostolic mindset.

View all
Forging Our Future

CLI provides vision and hope about the future of the Church with a humble, yet strategic approach.

View all

Browse past updates and insights.

View all