How does fidelity and endurance help in living the life of Christ?
First, what is fidelity and why is it important. As it affects me as a Lay Cistercian, it means an assent of the mind and heart to Christ and then being passionate about doing what I believe to be true. Christ is my purpose in life (Philippians 2:5) and contemplative prayer is a way that I practice to help me focus on being faithful.
Faithful is important in any relationship, marriage, being single, as a religious monk or nun. I think of fidelity as being important because it allows me to measure myself against a set of values, in this case, what Christ has selected for us to follow. St, Benedict puts it best, when he writes Chapter 4 of his Rule. I try to read these admonitions every day. Fidelity means I push against the temptation that says I don’t need to become what I read, to move daily from self to Christ. Fidelity means doing what you say you will do.
Endurance means finishing what you start. Some people think that belief is the same as Faith. Faith comes from God; belief comes from humans. Belief does not produce energy; Faith produces God’s energy in us to endure not only the temptation about fidelity but also helps sustain us to finish the race, as St. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.