I think I can, I know I can
Updated: Feb 2
"He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved." That doesn't sound like such a big deal right? On the contrary, it's a huge deal! What exactly does it mean to persevere to the end? Let's break it down: To persevere means that you're willing to make any sacrifice necessary, not to offend God. Here's the tricky part. When we neglect to do the things that are required to serve God faithfully, God may take it upon Himself to do it for us. Some of the things that can fall under sacrifice on our parts can be; losing our wealth and possessions, our will, our convenience in life, perhaps our life itself. But our Lord has instructed us, deny yourself and follow me. So why all the privileges? We've all heard horror stories and perhaps you've even been a casualty of this yourself, of people losing everything because of an illness, injury or whatever. Some have even become homeless! What a devastating blow this is. Or is it?
Of course it is! To lose your home and everything you have, can bring you down to the very depths. But remember, God has a reason for everything He allows to happen. But when these things happen to us and we pick ourselves up and continue on in God's service, we are persevering. He knows that these tragedies may be the only way to save your soul. God will never stop trying to draw us to Himself and will always give you the graces to understand what is required of your salvation. To our shame though it must be said, that we very often overlook these graces. When that happens, you can be assured it's because the world was in the way.
Not to persevere: well, that's when we continue to commit the same sins over and over without doing everything in our power to avoid them. If this is the cycle of sin in your life, you need to sit down and understand how and why you continue to commit the same sins. It's definitely due to your weaknesses, but it may also be due to the company you keep. When you continue to associate with those who encourage mortal sin, you lose the friendship, love and protection of God. Even worse, you're drawing down God's wrath upon yourself and alienating yourself from heaven. Furthermore, just as those people are helping you sin, you're helping them to sin as well, and you will each bear a punishment for the other's sins. What are we thinking about! How can we convince ourselves that this behavior is okay and we'll still somehow get to heaven?
The remedy: Prayer. That's it, simply put, prayer. Praying to God with all your heart, as often as you can will allow you the mercy of God. There are many people who do various forms of penance to try and make up for their sins. That's great if you actually stop committing the sins. But, if you continue to commit the same sins, mortal not venial, over and over, even if you use the sacrament of confession often, you're wasting your time by doing these penances. God does not demand physical sacrifices to appease His justice, He demands a firm repentance and amendment of your life.
St. Lawrence was slow roasted on a fire, Isaias was sawed into pieces, St. Bartholomew had his skin torn off. These martyrs, who sacrificed their very lives for the love of God, would not have been saved at the moment of death, despite their ultimate sacrifice, if they were in a state of mortal sin when they died. How can we, who offend God continually, expect to save our souls if we don't persevere every day in the service of God and avoiding sin?
Right now is the perfect time for you to make the firm amendment of your life and spend all of your time persevering for the salvation of your soul. Go immediately and confess your sins. Once your soul is clean, never allow it to be stained with mortal sin again. Then you can start the journey of prayer, repentance, penance and faithful service to God.
Remember this, prayer will keep the devil away from you, and yes, the devil is encouraging you to sin every day. When you pray devoutly, God will answer your prayers. He will shower you with His graces and He will be there with you. The devil knows this and believe me, he isn't going anywhere near where God is. While praying, remember to reflect on all you've received so graciously from God, and how unworthy you are of receiving His gifts. God has been so generous with you, but unfortunately, for all of His love and generosity, we usually repay Him with ingratitude.
Pray that God will give you the grace of strength to avoid mortal sin and never offend Him again. Pray that each day of your life will be spent in the faithful service of God. There will be hard times and struggles and you may very well fall from time to time. When that happens remember to persevere. Get up, confess it, shake it off and get right back to your duties. God will not accept those who give up. Just as He persevered through His passion for our sake, we must also persevere for the sake of our eternal soul.
If we continue to pray, persevere regardless of the obstacles we encounter and remain faithful in the service of God, we can be assured that God will keep His promise, "He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved."
Peace, good and blessings.