To begin is easy; to persevere is sanctity. Let your perseverance not be a blind consequence of the first impulse, the work of inertia: let it be a reflective perseverance.
Say to him: ecce ego quia vocasti me! — Here I am, for you have called me!
You went astray, and did not come back because you were ashamed to. It would be more logical if you were ashamed not to return.
'The truth is that there is no need to be a hero', you confess, 'to know how to isolate oneself as far as circumstances demand — without going to ridiculous extremes — and to persevere.' And you add: 'So long as I carry out the norms you gave me, the snares and pitfalls of my surroundings don't worry me: to fear such trifles — that is what I would be afraid of.'
Foster and preserve that noblest of ideals just born within you. Consider how many flowers blossom in the spring and how few are those that grow into fruit.
Discouragement is an enemy of your perseverance. If you don't fight against discouragement you will become pessimistic first, and lukewarm afterwards. Be an optimist.
Come now I After so much of 'the Cross, Lord, the Cross!' it is obvious that it is a cross to your own taste that you wanted.
Constancy, that nothing can shake. That is what you need. Ask it of God and do what you can to obtain it: for it is a great safeguard against your ever turning from the fruitful way you have chosen.
You cannot 'rise'. It's not surprising: that fall!
Persevere and you will 'rise'. Remember what a spiritual writer has said: your poor soul is like a bird whose wings are caked with mud.
Suns of heaven are needed and personal efforts, small and constant, to shake off those inclinations, those vain fancies, that depression: that mud clinging to your wings.
And you will see yourself free. If you persevere, you will 'rise'.
Give thanks to God who helped you, and rejoice in your victory. What deep joy you feel in your soul, after responding to grace!
You reason… well, coldly; one motive after another for abandoning the task! And some of them are, it would seem, conclusive.
No doubt you have reasons. But you are not right.
'My enthusiasm is gone', you write. You have to work not out of enthusiasm but out of Love: conscious of duty, which means self-denial.
Unshakable: that is what you must be. If your perseverance is disturbed by other people's weaknesses or by your own, I cannot but form a poor opinion of your ideal.
Make up your mind once and for all.
You have a poor idea of your way, if lack of enthusiasm makes you think you have lost it. Can't you see that it is the moment of trial? That is why you have been deprived of sensible consolations.
Absence, isolation: trials for your perseverance. Holy Mass, prayer, sacraments, sacrifices, Communion of Saints: weapons to conquer in the trial.
Oh blessed perseverance of the donkey that turns the water-wheel! Always the same pace. Always the same circles. One day after another: everyday the same.
Without that, there would be no ripeness in the fruit, nor blossom in the orchard, nor scent of flowers in the garden.
Carry this thought to your interior life.
And what is the secret of perseverance? Love. Fall in Love, and you will not leave him.