The Grace of Perseverance
My child, only he who perseveres to the end will be saved. Good resolutions will not help you unless they are followed right to the end of life.
With the help of My grace, be determined to follow My will in your daily life. Follow it regardless of feelings. Moods and feelings will change with the changing hour of the day, but your will must stand firm in loyalty to Me.
Sometimes you will enjoy what I send you, and sometimes you will dislike it. At times you will be eager to obey me, and at other times you will be sluggish. Yet your will can rise, with the help of My grace, above these changing feelings. Your true worth is proved by a determined effort to follow your good resolutions.
The Fathers of the desert learned this heavenly wisdom long ago. Never were they fooled by the devil’s temptations nor by the self-deception of their human nature. By prayer, fasting, penance, and work, they overcame the enemies within them and outside them. With eyes fixed on Me, they saw heaven as their goal, and they made their daily life a journey toward eternal happiness
You too will be tempted to abandon your good resolutions. You will fear for your health, worry about your friends, be disturbed by human opinions, and become troubled about imagined dangers.
Follow My advice. Keep yourself busy with prayer, self-denial, and good works. I will soon send you greater graces and you will find yourself closer to Me than before.
For the present walk in faith, hope, and obedient charity. Later you will realize that the trials which troubled you were actually good for you. They help you to see which virtues you really possess and which are still needed in your daily life.
It is after I have made my resolutions that the battle begins. Not only will the devil tempt me more, but I shall also have to take misunderstandings, and even bad will, from neighbors who resent my change for the better. My worst enemy, however, will be my own human nature. It will dislike the harder course of action which I’m now following. My imagination, my old habits, my likes and dislikes, these will cooperate in order to make me abandon my resolutions. On such occasions I ought to get busy with some activity which will help me overcome, or at least disregard my lower nature’s rebellion. God will send me light and strength in due time if only I will hold onto my resolutions in the present darkness of fears, doubts, and dislikes.
My Jesus, there are no words to describe the grandeur and glory which await those who follow your holy will in their daily life. That is why you have never tried to tell us what it is like. When we enter into your glorious heaven, we too will say with St. Paul did know why on earth has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, nor has anyone in this world even imagined what you have prepared for your loyal followers. Yes, no matter what suffering we may endure in this life, these sufferings will never be great enough to earn the smallest joy of heaven. Grant me the wisdom to keep my eyes on that goal, so that I may never become discouraged or cowardly in life's daily battle. Amen.
from My Daily Bread pp.296-298