Day 10 Perseverance

The one that endures to the end shall be saved~
                                                                        Matthew 10:22

 I had breakfast with the retired pastor of my church.  There was no real agenda except to catch up with one another’s life.  However, I was interested in steering the conversation into some areas of parish history so that I would have perspective about various issues.  As I listened to this seventy-year-old priest I was conscious of how hard he has worked all his ministerial life.  And not only how hard he worked but how much he cared.  After twenty-five years of ministry I often find myself worn by the increasing demands of Church life.  When confronted with obstacles and negativity, my inner voice tells me to flee, abandon and run! Mayday! Lower the lifeboats and PUSH OFF!!  So when I find myself in the company of people who persevere in the midst of disappointment I am filled with great respect and humility.

There are circumstances where walking away is absolutely the prudent response but when I see a couple celebrating a forty or fifty-year anniversary and still enjoying each other’s company or a long-term teacher with continued zeal for enlightening students, I am filled with admiration and wonder.  There are clerics who work hard to preach sermons and homilies so that congregations can be strengthened and nourished.   I encounter weary employees standing behind cash registers never too bored to offer a smile and an encouraging greeting.   We inhabit a culture where everything is becoming more litigious, more labyrinthine, more exhausting and consequently more and more of us walk away from churches, schools, business and relationships out of frustration and defeat.   The people who endure with good humor and faith are my heroes.  Because of these living saints I think I can keep smiling, keep praying, keep searching for the next belly laugh and keep believing that with God anything is possible.

He that can’t endure the bad will not live to see the good~
                                                                                    Jewish Proverb
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3 Responses to Day 10 Perseverance

  1. Martha Dolciamore says:

    “It is very strange…that the years teach us patience, that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting”….

  2. Wm. "Gus" Gocella says:

    There a great many ‘bumps in the road of life’, and each of us with God’s strength can perservere and can leap over those ‘bumps’. We can keep our chins up, with smiles on our faces and an outreached hand to help someone else get over the ‘bumps’

  3. Kelley says:

    Hello Father Matt. I have recently discovered your podcasts and now your blog. You are helping me to persevere through a very difficult time. Your words feed my soul, and for that I am eternally grateful. You are an amazing priest and I feel so blessed to have discovered you. Thank you for all you do.

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