"Is any of you sad? Let him pray..." (James 5:13)
Any person who is determined to follow the path to heaven will have many crosses to bear. Life is not always easy, and the enemies of the Church continuously make attempts to snatch away as many souls as they can from the grace of God. Yet, it is written: "He that shall persevere unto the end shall be saved." (Matthew 24:13) In order to obtain everlasting happiness we should; therefore, make this our goal: To persevere in the virtuousness even when the world, the flesh and the devil make our struggles for holiness almost unbearable.
It is easy to become discouraged when we see how much evil abounds around us. Yet, let our make our trust in God be firm, and shine forth as a witness of our Faith. Thus, we will become beacons of hope for all of those around us, and we may have the opportunity to play a part in the conversion of the nations of the world to God.
With that being said, I would like to conclude with a short passage from Father Faber's book, At the Foot of the Cross, Chapter 8 (The Burial of Jesus - Pg. 391) about perseverance:
“Of all the interior dispositions of the saints, that which strikes us as the most magnificent, more magnificent than the spirit of martyrdom, is that of perseverance in a complete sacrifice. Perseverance is in itself the most uncreaturelike of graces. It is as if the immutability of the Creator had dropped like a mantle upon the creature, and become him well.
There is something at once more graceful in its movements and more heroic in its demeanor than characterized by the beautiful fervor in which the soul irrevocably committed itself to the first generous sacrifice. There is more of heaven in its stateliness, while there is also more of a man’s own in the courage of the sustained effort. But the glory of perseverance is greatly increased when it is in a complete sacrifice. There is a completeness and unity about the whole work, which seems to render it an offering worthy of the divine compassion.
Strange to say, while many souls fail under the effort while the sacrifice is yet incomplete, there are not a few who dishonor it in its completeness. Nature gives way and seeks repose, when it has attained the summit that was before it; and it seldom happens on earth that there is not something ignoble and unworthy about repose. Others look back for it is rarely the case that any sacrifice is strictly speaking complete in itself. A man has committed himself by it to something further, something higher.
All efforts in the spiritual life, properly speaking, have to be sustained till the end. The difficulty, and therefore the costliness, or perseverance, consists in its tension never being relaxed. It is on this account that perseverance is an uncreaturelike grace, a supernatural similitude of God.
Others again do not regret the efforts expended or the sacrifices made; but they look at once for their reward. They lower the nobility of what they have done by a want of disinterestedness. We are not offended when little services look for their reward. But great services remind us of God, and do not look so palpably unworthy of Him, and therefore they offend us by the mention of their recompense.
So it is, that in one way or other there are few souls, who do not somewhat disfigure and impair their sacrifice, and take the unearthly freshness from it. Thus when we see any one persisting in his complete sacrifice with the same ardor and fortitude and magnanimity and patience, almost gracefully unconscious that he has done or is doing any great thing, not that he does not understand what he has done, but because when all his thoughts are fixed on God there are none left for attention to himself, then do we call it the most magnificent of all interior dispositions, a shadow of the rest of the unfatigued Creator when His Sabbath succeeded to the making of the world."