In the Gospel it is said: “Whoever perseveres to the end, will be saved!” (St. Matthew, XXIV, 13).
The Lord does not require only the beginning of a good life, but to arrive to the end, and will give the prize to those who have persevered. Perseverance is rightly called the gate of Heaven.
Human will is very weak; One hates sin now and later commits it; one day he decides to change his life and the next day he resumes his bad habits. Persevering without falling or slowing down is a grace of God, which must be asked with insistence in prayer; without this, one is in danger of damnation.
How many, as children, were little angels and then in their youth they became devils and continued their bad life until death!
How many maidens and young ladies and exemplary children, in a certain period of their life, because of a bad occasion, have sinned, with scandal to the family and neighborhood, and then died in impenitence!
The sin that leads to the final impenitence is impurity, because this vice removes the taste of spiritual things, little by little one loses his faith, binds one totally that it does not detach one from evil anymore and often leads to the sacrileges of Confession and of Communion.
Says St. Alfonso de Liguori: To those who have had the vice of impurity, it is not enough to flee the next, more dangerous occasions, but he must keep away even the remote occasions, avoiding those greetings, those gifts, those tickets and the like .. (St. Alphonsus in Preparation for Death). “Our fortress, says the prophet Isaiah, is like the strength of the wood placed in the flame” (Isaiah, I, 31). Whoever puts himself in danger of sin with the hope of not sinning, is like that madman who pretends to walk on fire without burning.
It is reported in church stories that a holy matron fulfilled the pitiful office of burying the martyrs of the faith. Once she found one who had not yet died and took him to her house. That man healed. But what happened? The occasion of being close to each other, these two holy persons (as they could then be called) gradually lost their faith and sinned.
Who can be sure of himself when one thinks of the miserable end of King Saul, of King Solomon and of the great Tertullian?
The anchor of salvation for all is Our Lady, Mother of perseverance. In the life of Saint Bridget, we read that one day this saint heard Jesus speaking to the Most Holy Virgin: “My Mother, ask me what you want and as much as you want, because whatever is your request cannot be denied. O Mother, you denied me nothing while living on earth and I do not deny you now, being in Heaven.”
And to the same Saint our Lady said to her: “I am called the Mother of mercy and such I am because the Divine Mercy created me as such.”
Let us ask the Queen of Heaven for the grace of perseverance and let us ask Her especially during the Consecration, at Holy Mass and while reciting a Hail Mary with faith.
Here is one significant example. While a priest confessed in a church, he saw a young man take a seat, a few steps from the confessional; he seemed to be unsure of wanting to confess; His uneasiness appeared from his face.
At a certain moment the priest called him: Do you want to confess? Well … I will confess! But my confession will be long. The priest invited him to come with him to a private room.
The young man thus began his accusations: I believe that God will not forgive my sins !!! Besides the innumerable sins of dishonesty, more to despise God than for my own satisfaction, I threw a Crucifix out of contempt and hatred. Several times I received holy communion sacrilegiously and I have trampled on the Sacred Particle.
He then narrated that, passing in front of that Church, he felt a great impulse to enter it and could not resist entering it; he had felt, while standing in the Church, a great remorse of conscience with a certain desire to confess and for this he had approached the confessional. The priest, amazed at this amazing conversion, asked: Have you had any devotion to Our Lady during this period? No, Father! I thought I was damned. – Yet, here must be the hand of our Lady here! Think better, try to remember if you have done some act of homage to the Blessed Virgin. Do you have something sacred about you? The young man reveal his chest and showed the little scapular of Our Lady of Sorrows. Oh, son! Do you not see that it was Our Lady who gave you the grace? The Church, where you entered, is dedicated to the same Blessed Virgin. Love this good Mother, thank Her and do not sin anymore!
When the confession ended, the penitent said: What I confessed, you can also say from the pulpit. Tell everyone about the mercy of Our Lady towards me.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– Choose a good work, to be done every Saturday, so that Our Lady will helps us to persevere in grace of God until the end of life.
Prayer to Mary:
– Mary, Mother of perseverance, I enclose myself in your Heart!
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI