Reflections On Perseverance
From The Writings Of Luisa Piccarreta
“The Little Daughter Of The Divine Will”
Hope renders the soul almost omnipotent, invincible, and it administers to her the final perseverance, so much so, that only then does she cease to hope and to persevere, when she has taken possession of the Kingdom of Heaven. Then, she lays down Hope and plunges all of herself into the immense ocean of Divine Love.
Then He continued: “If Faith makes one believe, and Hope makes one hope, Charity makes one love. If Faith is light and serves as the sight of the soul, and Hope, which is the nourishment of Faith, provides the souls with courage, peace, perseverance and all the rest – Charity, which is the substance of this light and of this nourishment, is like that most sweet and fragrant ointment which, penetrating everywhere, relieves and soothes the pains of life.
VOL.4 – December 27, 1900
God is not subject to changing, while the devil and the human nature change very often.
This morning I was with a fear about my state, that it was not the Lord who operated in me; with the addition that He was not deigning to come. Then, after much waiting, I saw Him for just a little; I expressed my fear to Him, and He said to me: “My daughter, first of all, in order to put you in this state there is a concurring of my power; and then, who would have given you the strength and the patience to remain in this state, in a bed, for such a long time? Perseverance alone is a sign that the work is Mine, because God alone is not subject to changing, while the devil and the human nature change very often – what they love today, they abhor tomorrow, and what they abhor today, they love tomorrow and find their satisfaction in it.”
VOL. 4 – January 31, 1901
Jesus explains the greatness of the virtue of patience.
As I was in my usual state, my sweet Jesus was not coming. Then, after much waiting, I saw Him for just a little, and He told me: “My daughter, patience is superior to purity, because without patience the soul easily unbridles, and it is difficult for her to remain pure; and when a virtue needs another virtue in order to have life, the second one is called superior to the first. Even more, it can be said that patience is custody of purity; not only this, but it is staircase to ascend to the mountain of fortitude, in such a way that if one went up without the staircase of patience, he would immediately fall from the highest point to the lowest. In addition to this, patience is seed of perseverance, and this seed produces branches called firmness. Oh, how firm and stable in the good she has started is the patient soul! She pays no attention either to rain, or to frost, or to ice, or to fire, but all her attention is on bringing to completion the good she has started. In fact, there is no greater foolishness than that of one who today does some good because he likes it, and tomorrow he neglects it because he finds no more pleasure in it. What would one say of an eye which at one hour possesses sight, and at another is blind? Or of a tongue which now speaks, and now is mute? Ah! yes, my daughter, patience alone is the secret key to open the treasure of virtues; without the secret of this key, the other virtues do not come out to give life to the soul and to ennoble her.”
VOL. 4 – March 30, 1901
Jesus speaks about the Divine Will and about perseverance.
As my state of privation continued, I felt as though a tedium and a tiredness of my poor situation, and my poor nature wanted to free itself of this state. Having compassion for me, my adorable Jesus came and told me: “My daughter, as you withdraw from my Volition, you begin to live of yourself; while if you remain fixed in my Will, you will always live of Me, dying completely to yourself.”
Then He added: “My daughter, have patience, resign yourself to my Will in everything, and not for a short time, but always – always, because only perseverance in good is that which reveals whether a soul is truly virtuous; it alone is what unites all virtues together. It can be said that perseverance alone unites perpetually God and the soul, virtues and graces, and places itself around them like a chain; and binding everything together, it forms the most safe knot of salvation. But where there is no perseverance, there is a lot to fear.” Having said this, He disappeared.
VOL. 5 – June 16, 1903
What renders the soul more dear, more beautiful, more lovable and more intimate with God is her perseverance in operating to please Him alone.
Continuing in my usual state, I found myself outside of myself, and I saw Baby Jesus with a cup full of bitterness and a stick in His hand; and He said to me: “See my daughter, what a cup of bitterness the world continuously gives Me to drink.” And I: ‘Lord, share it with me so You won’t suffer alone.’ So He gave me to drink a little bit of that bitterness; and then, with the stick He had in His hand, He began to pierce the place of my heart through, to the point of making a hole from which a rivulet of that bitterness which I had drunk came out. However, it was changed into sweet milk, and went into the mouth of the Baby, who was all sweetened and refreshed. Then He told me: “My daughter, when I give to the soul the bitterness of tribulations, if the soul conforms to my Will, is grateful to Me, thanks Me for it and offers it to Me as a gift, for her it is bitterness, it is suffering, but for Me it changes into sweetness and refreshment. But what cheers Me the most and gives Me the most pleasure is to see that the soul, whether she operates or suffers, is all intent on pleasing Me alone, with no other end or purpose of recompense. However, what renders the soul more dear, more beautiful, more lovable, more intimate with the Divine Being, is her perseverance in this way of behaving, which renders her immutable with the immutable God. In fact, if today she does something and tomorrow she doesn’t; if one time she has one end and another time another; if today she tries to please God and tomorrow creatures, she is the image of one who today is queen and tomorrow a most miserable servant; today she nourishes herself with delicious foods, tomorrow with filth.”
After a little while He disappeared, but a little later He came back, adding: “The sun is there for the benefit of all, but not everyone enjoys its beneficial effects. In the same way, the Divine Sun gives Its light to all, but who enjoys Its beneficial effects? One who keeps his eyes open to the light of truth. All others, even if they are exposed to the Sun, remain in the dark. However, it is one who is all intent on pleasing Me that truly enjoys and receives all the fullness of this Sun.”
VOL. 6 – April 10, 1904
The three little ropes that bind Jesus all over and clasp Him more intimately to the soul: assiduous sufferings, perpetual reparation, persevering love.
This morning, finding myself with the fear that blessed Jesus, in seeing me still so cattiva [bad], had left me, I felt Him come out from within my interior, and He told me: “My daughter, why do you occupy yourself with useless thoughts and with things which are not? Know that you have three titles before Me, which, like three little ropes, bind Me all over and clasp Me more intimately to you, in such a way that I cannot leave you; and these are: assiduous sufferings, perpetual reparation, persevering love. If you, as a creature, are constant in this, would the Creator perhaps be inferior to the creature – or would He let Himself be surpassed by her? This is impossible.”
VOL. 6 – October 29, 1904
The chain of graces is linked to persevering works. All evils are enclosed in lack of perseverance.
After I struggled very much, blessed Jesus came for just a little and told me: “My daughter, when the soul disposes herself to do some good, be it even saying one Hail Mary, grace concurs in doing that good. So, if the soul is not persevering in doing that good, it shows with clarity that she has no esteem or consideration for the gift received, and she makes fun of grace itself. How many evils are enclosed in this way of operating – today yes, tomorrow no; ‘I like it – I do it’; ‘it takes a sacrifice to do that good – I don’t feel like doing it’. It happens as to that person who, having received a gift from a gentleman, today receives it, but tomorrow sends it back. That gentleman, because of his goodness, sends it once again, but after he has kept it for some time, tired of keeping that gift with himself, he rejects it again. Now, what will that gentleman say? ‘It shows that he has no esteem for my gift. Should he become poor or die, I don’t want to have anything to do with him any more.’
Everything – everything is linked to the way of operating with perseverance; the chain of my graces is linked to persevering works. So, if the soul makes some escapes, she breaks this chain – and who can assure her that it will be linked again? My designs are accomplished only in one who attaches his works to perseverance. Perfection, sanctity, everything – everything goes along united with it; but if the soul is intermittent, her operating without perseverance, like an intermittent fever, renders the divine designs vain, dissolves her perfection and makes her sanctity fail.”
VOL. 6 – April 11, 1905
How perseverance is seal of eternal life and development of divine life.
Being very afflicted because of the privation of my adorable Jesus, I was saying to myself: ‘How cruel He has become with me – I myself cannot understand how His good Heart can reach the point of doing this. And then, if persevering pleases Him so much, yet, my persevering does not move His good Heart.’ While I was saying this and other nonsense, all of a sudden He came and told me: “Indeed, that of the soul which pleases Me the most is perseverance, because perseverance is seal of eternal life and development of divine life. In fact, just as God is ever old and ever new and immutable, in the same way, through perseverance, by having exercised it always, the soul is old, and by her attitude of exercising it, she is ever new; and each time she exercises it she is renewed in God, remaining immutable, and without realizing it. Since through perseverance she continuously acquires divine life within herself, by acquiring God she is sealed with eternal life. Can there be a seal safer than God Himself?”
VOL. 6 – June 2, 1905
Patience is the nourishment of perseverance.
This morning, on coming, blessed Jesus told me: “My daughter, patience is the nourishment of perseverance. In fact, patience keeps passions in their place and strengthens all virtues; and by receiving from patience the attitude of continuous life, the virtues do not feel the tiredness that inconstancy produces, which is so easy for the creature. So, the soul does not lose heart if she is mortified or humiliated, because patience immediately administers to her the necessary nourishment, and forms in her a stronger and more stable bond of perseverance. Nor does she push herself too much if she is consoled and elevated, because as patience nourishes perseverance, she contains herself within moderation without going out of its boundaries. In addition to this, since patience is nourishment, and as long as one nourishes himself it can be said that he has life, that he is not dead – in the same way, as long as she has patience, the soul will enjoy the life of perseverance.”
VOL. 12 – March 4, 1918
Firmness produces heroism.
Continuing in my usual state, I was lamenting to Jesus about my poor state, and He told me: “My daughter, courage, do not move in anything. Firmness is the greatest virtue. Firmness produces heroism, and it is almost impossible for one not to be a great saint. Rather, as she keeps repeating her acts, she forms two bars – one to the right, and the other to the left – which serve her as support and defense; and as she reiterates her acts, a fount forms in her, of new and increasing love. Firmness strengthens grace, placing on it the seal of final perseverance. Your Jesus does not fear that His graces may remain without effects, and therefore I pour them in torrents over a constant soul. There is not very much to expect from a soul who works today, and tomorrow does not – who now does some good, and now some other. She will not have any support, and will be bounced now to one point, now to another. She will die of starvation, because she will not have the fount of firmness, which makes love arise. Grace fears to pour itself, because she will abuse it, and use it to offend Me.”
VOL. 12 – November 15, 1920
Continuous good makes the creature feel transported to operate good.
My state is ever more painful; the Most Holy Will is my only help. As I was with my sweet Jesus, He told me: “My daughter, each work done for Me – each thought, word, prayer, suffering, and even a simple memory of Me – are many chains which the soul keeps forming in order to bind Me, and to bind herself to Me. These chains, without using violence on the human freedom, have the virtue of sweetly administering to her the chain of perseverance, allowing the formation of the last link and the last step, so as to make her take possession of the immortal Glory. In fact, continuous good has this virtue – this attraction over the soul: without anyone forcing her or using violence on her, voluntarily, she feels transported to operate good.”
VOL, 26 – April 28, 1929
On the other hand, the human will renders everything unsafe, even sanctity itself. The virtues that are not under the continuous dominion of my Fiat are subject to continuous dangers and continuous oscillations; passions have the ways open to put everything upside down and cast virtues and sanctity to the ground, formed with many sacrifices. If the continuous vivifying and nourishing virtue of my Will is not present, which closes all doors and all ways to all evils, the human will has door and ways to let the enemy, the world, self-esteem, miseries, disturbances, enter, which are the wood worm of virtues and of sanctity; and when there is the wood worm, there is not sufficient strength to remain firm and persevering in good. Therefore, everything is unsafe when my Divine Will does not reign.
VOL. 30 – May 30, 1932
“Now, as the creature does her will, so she withdraws and takes a step back from her Creator, and God withdraws; and an Infinite distance forms between the one and the other. See, therefore, the necessity to persevere in a continuous way of Operating in My Divine Will, in order to diminish the great distance between God and the creature, product of the human will. And do not believe that this is a personal distance; I am as for all, in all, in Heaven and on earth. The distance that the human volition forms without Mine, is a distance of Sanctity, of Beauty, of Goodness, of Power, of Love; they are Infinite distances that only My Volition Operating in the creature can Reunite and connect together and render inseparable the one from the other.
VOL. 33 – March 19, 1935
“Therefore, not too much is needed to Live of My Will; the too much is in the volition—if this decides and strongly and perseveringly wants it, already she has conquered Mine and has made It hers.
VOL. 35 – January 2, 1938
“My good daughter, My Jealousy for one who Lives in My Will is such that I do not tolerate one thought, one weakness or anything else that does not have life in It. You must know that to begin Living in My Will takes a decision on the part of God, and a firm decision on the part of the creature, to Live in It. Now, this decision is animated by a New Life—a New Divine Strength, so as to render the creature unconquerable by any evils or circumstances of life. This decision is not subject to changes, because when We decide, We do not deal with children who play with their decisions, but with the one who We know must persevere. Therefore, We give of Ourselves so that she may not give up. She may feel the miseries, the evils and the weaknesses, but this doesn’t mean anything, since these things die before the Power and the Sanctity of My Will—they feel the pain of death and run away; even more so, because the miseries are not born of the human will, that is sunk inside My Will and therefore cannot want anything but what I want. Many times My Will even uses these miseries to make of them the Most Beautiful Conquests; laying Its Life upon them, to form Its Kingdom, impose Its Dominion and convert the weaknesses into Victories and Triumphs. To one who Lives in My Will, all things must serve as the expression of the Most Beautiful Love that the creature gives to the One who forms her Life—almost as stone, brick and even scrap material serve to the one who wants to build himself a beautiful house.