The path of perseverance: two small examples

On November 9th, I started two long processes. The first is a Marian consecration with my family set to end on Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day (December 12). The second was working out with P90X.

Perseverance is a difficult virtue to develop, as it requires small efforts along what may be a very long road. As Aristotle so clearly taught, however, virtue comes through small actions ordered to a particular good until that action is done easily, readily, and with pleasure. So, I’m seeking to persevere in prayer and exercise. And these two goals will help me develop body and soul together, hopefully giving glory to God in the process.

The Marian consecration is something my wife and I have done before, though not together. I think it’s been about eight or nine years since I made the consecration–far too long no matter how long it has been. And at that point in my life, the prayer was different, it had a different focus. Now, I am focusing on the need to become a better husband and father, to learn from Mary and her virtues, the guidance of St. Louis de Montfort, and to learn from the daily act of humbling myself before God with my family.

Exercise has been a part of my life on and off for many years. I’m hoping this time to be accountable to myself, if no one else. I started P90X, the rather popular 90-day routine that mixes a wide variety of exercises to make a very intense whole. I started it over the summer until we lost Baby Grace. I’m restarting, sort of as a birthday present to myself (even though I’ll finish the 90 days about a month after my 30th birthday).

Perseverance comes in small ways over time. And if I get up every day and push “play” on the DVD player, or sit down with my family after dinner, I’m doing something small to contribute to a larger goal. As we near the end of the liturgical year, let us keep this virtue in mind. Let us persevere in the fight against sin and Satan as we allow Christ our King to reign in our lives.

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