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Perseverance

502. Perseverance (See also Determination.)

  1. Ainsworth redid dictionary manuscript burnt in fire. [Br. Hist.: Brewer Handbook, 752]
  2. Call of the Wild, The dogs trail steadfastly through Alaskas tundra. [Am. Lit.: The Call of the Wild ]
  3. canary grass traditional symbol of perseverance. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 183]
  4. Cato the Elder (234149 B.C.) for his last eight years said in every Senate speech, Carthage must be destroyed. [Rom. Hist.: EB (1963) V, 43]
  5. Deans, Jeanie by resourcefulness and an arduous journey, manages eventually to obtain a pardon for her sister. [Br. Lit.: The Heart of Midlothian ]
  6. Goodwood, Caspar eternal American pursuer of Isabel Archers hand. [Am. Lit.: The Portrait of a Lady, Magill I, 766768]
  7. Little Engine That Could pint-sized locomotive struggles long and hard to surmount hill before succeeding. [Childrens Lit.: Little Engine That Could ]
  8. Moses Hebrew lawgiver; led his quarrelsome people out of bondage in Egypt. [O.T.: Exodus; Leviticus]
  9. Mutt though usually thwarted in his schemes, he remains determined to triumph someday. [Comics: Berger, 48]
  10. Penelope foils suiters for twenty years while awaiting return of Odysseus. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 182]
  11. Rembrandt to Rembrandt artist continues to work despite financial failures. [Am. Lit.: Rembrandt to Rembrandt in Hart, 703704]
  12. Santiago attempts to subdue large fish through harshness of sea and weather. [Am. Lit.: The Old Man and the Sea ]
  13. snail symbol of deliberation and steadfastness. [Heraldry: Halberts, 38]
  14. tortoise perseverance helps him succeed where those inclined to dawdle fail. [Folklore: Jobes, 1590]
  15. Zarechnaya, Nina sacrifices everything to further career as actress. [Russ. Lit.: The Seagull ]

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perseverance

per·se·ver·ance / ˌpərsəˈvi(ə)rəns/ • n. 1. steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success: his perseverance with the technique illustrates his single-mindedness | medicine is a field which requires dedication and perseverance. 2. Theol. continuance in a state of grace leading finally to a state of glory.

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perseverance

perseveranceabeyance, conveyance, purveyance •creance • ambience •irradiance, radiance •expedience, obedience •audience •dalliance, mésalliance •salience •consilience, resilience •emollience • ebullience •convenience, lenience, provenience •impercipience, incipience, percipience •variance • experience •luxuriance, prurience •nescience • omniscience •insouciance • deviance •subservience • transience •alliance, appliance, compliance, defiance, misalliance, neuroscience, reliance, science •allowance •annoyance, clairvoyance, flamboyance •fluence, pursuance •perpetuance • affluence • effluence •mellifluence • confluence •congruence • issuance • continuance •disturbance •attendance, dependence, interdependence, resplendence, superintendence, tendance, transcendence •cadence •antecedence, credence, impedance •riddance • diffidence • confidence •accidence • precedence • dissidence •coincidence, incidence •evidence •improvidence, providence •residence •abidance, guidance, misguidance, subsidence •correspondence, despondence •accordance, concordance, discordance •avoidance, voidance •imprudence, jurisprudence, prudence •impudence • abundance • elegance •arrogance • extravagance •allegiance • indigence •counter-intelligence, intelligence •negligence • diligence • intransigence •exigence •divulgence, effulgence, indulgence, refulgence •convergence, divergence, emergence, insurgence, resurgence, submergence •significance •balance, counterbalance, imbalance, outbalance, valance •parlance • repellence • semblance •bivalence, covalence, surveillance, valence •sibilance • jubilance • vigilance •pestilence • silence • condolence •virulence • ambulance • crapulence •flatulence • feculence • petulance •opulence • fraudulence • corpulence •succulence, truculence •turbulence • violence • redolence •indolence • somnolence • excellence •insolence • nonchalance •benevolence, malevolence •ambivalence, equivalence •Clemence • vehemence •conformance, outperformance, performance •adamance • penance • ordinance •eminence • imminence •dominance, prominence •abstinence • maintenance •continence • countenance •sustenance •appurtenance, impertinence, pertinence •provenance • ordnance • repugnance •ordonnance • immanence •impermanence, permanence •assonance • dissonance • consonance •governance • resonance • threepence •halfpence • sixpence •comeuppance, tuppence, twopence •clarence, transparence •aberrance, deterrence, inherence, Terence •remembrance • entrance •Behrens, forbearance •fragrance • hindrance • recalcitrance •abhorrence, Florence, Lawrence, Lorentz •monstrance •concurrence, co-occurrence, occurrence, recurrence •encumbrance •adherence, appearance, clearance, coherence, interference, perseverance •assurance, durance, endurance, insurance •exuberance, protuberance •preponderance • transference •deference, preference, reference •difference • inference • conference •sufferance • circumference •belligerence • tolerance • ignorance •temperance • utterance • furtherance •irreverence, reverence, severance •deliverance • renascence • absence •acquiescence, adolescence, arborescence, coalescence, convalescence, deliquescence, effervescence, essence, evanescence, excrescence, florescence, fluorescence, incandescence, iridescence, juvenescence, luminescence, obsolescence, opalescence, phosphorescence, pubescence, putrescence, quiescence, quintessence, tumescence •obeisance, Renaissance •puissance •impuissance, reminiscence •beneficence, maleficence •magnificence, munificence •reconnaissance • concupiscence •reticence •licence, license •nonsense •nuisance, translucence •innocence • conversance • sentience •impatience, patience •conscience •repentance, sentence •acceptance • acquaintance •acquittance, admittance, intermittence, pittance, quittance, remittance •assistance, coexistence, consistence, distance, existence, insistence, outdistance, persistence, resistance, subsistence •instance • exorbitance •concomitance •impenitence, penitence •appetence •competence, omnicompetence •inheritance • capacitance • hesitance •Constance • importance • potence •conductance, inductance, reluctance •substance • circumstance •omnipotence • impotence •inadvertence • grievance •irrelevance, relevance •connivance, contrivance •observance • sequence • consequence •subsequence • eloquence •grandiloquence, magniloquence •brilliance • poignance •omnipresence, pleasance, presence •complaisance • malfeasance •incognizance, recognizance •usance • recusance

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Perseverance

PERSEVERANCE

Perseverance is a moral virtue that perfects the irascible appetite so that a person is reasonably inclined to continue in the practice of virtuous action in spite of difficulties arising from the protracted period during which the effort must continue. It is one thing to be called upon to perform a single virtuous act; it is quite another thing to be expected to continue to act in a virtuous manner for a long time. There is a kind of fatigue that overcomes the emotions when they must persist in a course of action and this fatigue inclines a person to abandon what he has undertaken.

In a broader sense, perseverance means the pursuit of some course of action or some undertaking until it is completed. Final perseverance is the continuance in the state of grace until death (see perseverance, final). Both the virtue of perseverance and final perseverance play important roles in the spiritual life, but they have completely different functions. Perseverance provides the fortitude of spirit that is necessary for the continued daily practice of virtue. It is the bulwark of all virtuous life. Virtue, by its very nature, demands a certain immobility and stability; all good habits demand a certain permanence. Without the virtue of perseverance, no virtue would be practiced for a prolonged period of time, and thus it would be impossible to attain the perfection of virtue demanded by the Christian life.

For the exercise of the virtue of perseverance man in his present state of fallen nature has a special need for actual graces. The Council of trent declared: "If anyone should say that he who is justified can, without the special assistance of God, either persevere in the justice of God received or with that assistance cannot persevere, let him be anathema" [H. Denzinger, Enchiridion symbolorum, ed. A. Schönmetzer (Freiburg 1963) 1572]. Thus the virtue of perseverance and the grace of perseverance cooperate in the ultimate work of salvation. The virtue gives man the ready disposition to continue in the life of virtue, but because of the ever-present possibility of sinespecially to a human nature wounded by original sinman needs special actual graces to cause the virtue to be constantly operative.

The virtue of perseverance is opposed by the vices of inconstancy or cowardice and of pertinacity or stubbornness. There is a reasonable endurance of the tedium and fatigue involved in a life of virtue and the mean can be violated either by refusing to endure reasonably, or by continuing to act when it is no longer reasonable to do so. The Latin term for inconstancy (mollities ) indicates a kind of softness or effeminacy of spirit. Hard, stubborn pertinacity lies at the other extreme. A person with this disposition will not abandon a course of action when he should. For example, such a man will attend a Confraternity meeting (for he has never missed one) while his wife is home sick and there is no one to care for the children.

The virtue of perseverance is extolled in Sacred Scripture. "Take all that shall be brought upon thee and in thy sorrow endure" (Sir 2.4). "Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (2 Cor 15.58). "He who has persevered to the end will be saved" (Mt 10.22).

Bibliography: f. l. b. cunningham, ed., The Christian Life (Dubuque 1959). a. royo, The Theology of Christian Perfection, tr. and ed. j. aumann (Dubuque 1962). thomas aquinas, Summa theologiae, 2a2ae, 137138. a. michel, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350) 12.1:12561304.

[r. doherty]

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