Perseverance: Part I
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom. (Isaiah 35)
We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel. (Golda Meir)
Moshe was born in Europe in 1938 and moved to Israel in 1949. As an adult he became an officer in the Israeli army followed by a career in business. After retirement he became a tour guide. In 2009 he picked our family up from the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem and we spent the next ten days riding around Israel in a mini-van. At the end of the first day he said, “I see you are open-minded: I can give you the Catholic tour, the Protestant tour, or I can show you Israel” (along with most of the major biblical sites). Moshe told us a great deal about his country, but a subject that came up daily was Israel’s agriculture. I could understand his enthusiasm. One afternoon, as we stared at crops in the desert, Moshe said, “this is what Isaiah prophesied; there will be ‘flowers in the desert’“.
Teresa teaches us perseverance is essential in the Second Mansions because the devil is waging a “fierce war” against us. She gives three ways to develop perseverance. The first of these is to pray for divine aid. These prayers are rooted in two important beliefs:
- Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil.” (I John 3)
- Jesus came to bring renewal (grow “flowers in the desert”).
When we pray, God’s goodness breaks into our life. We begin to see the destruction of the devil’s works and “flowers in the desert”. As we notice His divine aid we are more likely to persevere through spiritual warfare, temptation, and difficult times. But remember — we must pray.
For Perseverance Part II: Click Here
For Perseverance Part III: Click Here
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