"We ourselves boast of you in the churches of God regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions you endure." 2Thess 1:4
Often I find myself praying in gratitude for the people I have met along the way, especially people who could easily have walked away from faith because their journey was so difficult. Many of these people are the cornerstones of our parishes and faith communities, but many others are from the developing world where their contact with parishes as we know them is limited. Strong in their faith, these powerful and committed believers continue to study, reflect and celebrate the mysteries of faith despite their poverty. They are, for me, contemporary heroes who I not only admire but try to emulate.
St Paul regularly boasts about the believers who came to faith through his ministry. Never claiming them for himself, but for Christ, Paul celebrates their endurance and fortitude despite the persecutions they suffered. Knowing how difficult it is to live their faith when few support them, Paul holds up the glory of their witness to Christ as an example for all to follow.
Endurance is not usually seen as a great virtue, but there is much to be said for holding fast to Christ and God's holy people in the face of great obstacles. It is endurance that marks most of our lives of a daily basis. The husband who continues to visit and serve a wife with deepening dementia, and the wife who stands with her husband when he can't seem to find work to support their family, are everyday saints whose daily witness to their vows encourages us on our pilgrim journey.
Today, boast about someone others ignore.
What helps you endure in faith on a daily basis?