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138. Vices Opposed to Perseverance

1. Opposed to perseverance is the vice of softness oreffeminacy, which tends to give way under the effort of sustainedvirtue, even when the stress is slight. Effeminacy takes no joy ingood, and quickly wearies of it.

2. Also opposed to perseverance is pertinacity, which isthe vice of headstrong, stubborn, opinionated people who want theirown way rather than what is right, and who wish to humble anddefeat their opponents. While effeminacy falls short ofperseverance, and sins by defect or deficiency, pertinacity runsahead of perseverance and sins by excess. Cicero (De Inv. Rhet.ii) says that pertinacity is to perseverance as superstitionis to religion.

"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

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