The sensuality of the self, by the very nature of its passions, keeps the body immersed in sin. How often we pay attention to the shortcomings of others, while our own sins remain unchallenged. The self is the most difficult enemy of all to conquer, and the tactic of opposing the passions of the self most often fails. If we learn to channel the passions of the self into the effort we put forth in humble service to the Lord, we can harness the energy of our passions and put it to good use. Zeal will become our strength, that we may heed the words of St. Paul: “Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12.11-12)

Persevere

Submit to trials, blow by blow,
As stone beneath the Sculptor’s blade.
Formation is painful and slow —
The Sculptor’s hand is rarely staid.

Each of us is a work of art
And artisan by word and deeds.
Strive to love others from the heart —
Forgetting self, see to their needs.

In service, always persevere,
Regardless of the joy or pain;
Don’t let your feelings interfere –
Consistency will be your gain.

Seek first the cross whene’er you pray;
Embrace it as you love the Lord.
Feelings often get in the way —
Sowing distraction and discord.

In prayer, and service, persevere;
Feelings aside, the road is clear.

May the Lord instill a spirit of constancy within our hearts; that we may persevere despite the satisfactions, aggravations, delight, and distaste.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15.58)

(c) Paul Buis, 2006