P E R S E V E R E
I’m always amazed at how the liturgical unfolding of the daily Scriptural readings used in the celebration of the Mass seem to be what I need to hear. Being a ‘living’ word, it is always germinating new when we plant it in the soil of our heart!
Today’s ‘list’ of ‘to do’s’ from Paul to the Romans is one you can imagine being delivered to people in any situation, but perhaps most appropriately, a situation where things seem to be so ‘off-the-rails’ and just so evil in the world all around us within which we need to live out our lives as Christians, that it seems impossible to make any ground, and constantly at the door of our mind is the temptation to ‘detach from thinking about it all’ and to exit the spiritual warfare completely.
This is a dangerous time where weariness wears us down, and presents a situation in our spiritual warfare that demands more than anything (1) watchfulness, (2) prayer, (3) fasting, and fuelling all of that….PERSEVERENCE!
The biggest temptation is to start obsessing that we really “aren’t doing anything” nor could ever do anything to stop what we see coming at us and our children like a steam-roller, but that’s just a ‘temptation,’ and like all temptations, lies based on either the stimulation of fear and anxiety, or the titillation of pleasure zones somewhere in our sensual array!
So today’s reading for the Catholic feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin seemed to me to be the perfect ‘counter’ to that lying temptation to detach, disengage and despair in a sea of doubts since it offers the perfect solution: NOTHING ST. PAUL SUGGESTS is beyond our capacity to do, and if we were able to focus on doing that while trusting God with the ‘big stuff’ we’d dispel the doubting darkness and reclaim the peace that ‘surpasses all understanding,’ and can not be either doled out or even understood by the world.