Sunday, November 17, 2013

Models in the Faith

"By your perseverance you will secure your lives." Luke 21:19

We are called to persevere to the end? In what or in who do we persevere? We are called to persevere in the Truth who is Jesus Christ. Jesus warns us that many will come in His name saying, "I am He" and the "Time has come," but Jesus encourages us not to follow them (Luke 21:8). This is very challenging in our world today because there are so many voices. Voices that call us to many different things. Voices that confuse and lead away from the Truth found in Christ. It takes attentiveness and prayer to identify the difference. We need not do it alone. Jesus promises to be with us, yet He requires of us to persevere until the end. Perseverance that will ultimately secure our lives.

To aid us in the journey of faith we must turn to models in the faith. We can turn to the saints in Christ who gave their life in service of the Truth. They remind us that we are not alone nor that we believe the task is in impossible. They are models for us to help and challenge us. They are members of the communion of saints, those who have gone before us and who truly preserved until the end. They guide us still by their story for they gave testimony to the Gospel through their words and actions.

Here are a few examples that model for us the living of the Gospel:

"We must meditate before, during and after everything we do. The prophet says: "I will pray, and then I will understand."  This is the way we can easily overcome the countless difficulties we have to face day after day, which, after all, are part of our work. In meditation we find the strength to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in others." - Saint Charles Borromeo

"For Jesus Christ I am prepared to suffer still more." - Saint Maximilian Kolbe

"Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven." - Saint Rose of Lima

"The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"You cannot please both God and the world at the same time.  They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions." - Saint John Vianney

These individuals are models for us. We can learn from them and allow for them to help us discern the many voices we will hear. Voices that will try to subtly lead us away from the truth of Christ. There will be voices who invite us to water down the truth and to stray from our traditions. However, as followers of Christ we must remain faithful and to remember His promise, "By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

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