Word of Life. October 2009. “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (Lk 21,19). “Perseverance.” The original Greek word from which these words are derived is filled with implications: it also means, patience, constancy, resistence, trust.
“Perseverance.” The original Greek word from which these words are derived is filled with implications: it also means, patience, constancy, resistence, trust.
Perseverance is necessary and indispensable when we suffer, are tempted, are prone to discouragement or allured by the seduction of the world, or when we suffer persecution.
I think that you too have found yourself in at least one of these circumstances and have experienced that, without perseverance, you could not but succumb. At times, perhaps, you gave in. Maybe now, at this very moment, you find yourself immersed in one of these painful situations.
You know that whoever wants to follow Christ must take up his cross daily. He must love suffering, at least with his will. The Christian vocation is a call to perseverance.
To the Christian community, the apostle Paul indicates his perseverance as a sign of Christian authenticity. And He does not hesitate to put it on the same level as miracles.
It is possible to distinguish between two categories of people. There are people who hear the invitation to be true Christians, but this invitation falls on their souls like a seed on rocky ground- so much fleeting enthusiasm and afterwards, nothing remains.
On the other hand, there are others who welcome the invitation as the good soil receives the seed. And the Christian life sprouts, grows, overcomes difficulties, and resists storms. They cultivate perseverance and… “by your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
Naturally, if you want to persevere, you cannot rely only on your own strength. You must have the help of God. Paul calls God: “The God of perseverance.” You must ask it from him then, and he will give it to you.
Because if you are a Christian you will never be satisfied merely by being baptized, or by performing some acts of worship or charity every now and then. You must grow as a Christian, and every growth in the spiritual life, cannot come about except in the midst of trials, obstacles and battles.
But there are those who really know how to persevere: those who love. Love is never hindered by obstacles. It does not count dificulties or sacrifices. And perseverance is love that has been put to the test. Mary is the woman of perseverance.
Ask God to enkindle in your heart real love for him, and consequently, perseverance in all the difficulties of life will come to you as a consequence, and with it you will have secured your life.
But there is something more. Perseverance is contagious. The person who perseveres also encourages others to go all the way to the end. Let us set our aim high.
We have only one life and even this is a brief one. Let us dig in and stand firm from day to day, facing one difficulty after another in order to follow Christ... and we shall persevere and secure our lives.
Text by Chiara Lubich