This is the word that sums up a recent Sunday reading. According to Fr. Ken Grabner C.S.C.’s homily, to persevere means:
- Being aware of the grace in our lives that is always present, but not always visible
- Doing what that presence would have us do in love
- Acknowledging that, whatever we manage to do, it has been God’s work in us
For Moses it meant having the strength to hold up the staff of God. In Timothy’s case it was patience to preach the scriptures, and then in the Gospel parable there is the widow’s persistence for justice.
For me, as a single Catholic woman who feels called to marriage, it means trusting that God will reveal the right person at the right time, or hoping that I am able to see the person that God is revealing. It is also about nurturing all of my relationships and friendships.
Apart from my being single, it also means for me to have the confidence to own my gifts as a lay minister, teacher, mentor and evangelist in the face of doubts about these gifts. Spending time every day in quiet prayer asking for God’s help is important because, as Fr. Grabner also noted, “A heart that is never quiet has a hard time knowing God.”
- Single or not, where do you need to persevere to see God’s grace?
- What does that presence of God beckon you to do in love?
- How do you honor God’s work being done in you?
Perseverance is a mark of the saints, people canonized and not whose lives are a continual testimony to God’s presence and love at work in us and the world. According to Thomas Merton (perhaps a saint himself), these are people who cause us to ask “Why do they live like that?”
Last week Brother André Bessette, C.S.C., was canonized in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI. Born in 1845, Bro. André entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1870. As a doorkeeper in one of the congregation’s schools in Montreal, he offered hospitality and was given the power to heal. Bro. André was constantly sought out by the poor, sick and otherwise afflicted, but would always say, “I’m just a conduit for God and Saint Joseph,” to whom he had a special devotion. At his death in 1937, 1 million people paid him last homage.
We’re all called to be saints. What are you waiting for?
The Congregation of Holy Cross, or Congregatio Santa Cruce (C.S.C.), is a worldwide religious order of priests and brothers. It is known by many in the United States as the sponsoring community of several parishes and colleges, including the University of Notre Dame, which is in the Indiana Province.