Persistence is different from nagging or whining.
In the examples given in Scripture, persistence is the art of getting justice for a wrong or it is to persevere in the truth. Nagging or whining, on the other hand, are tactics used to get something you want at whatever the cost. Persistence is based on logic while nagging is based on emotion.
To desire that a wrong be righted or a mistake be corrected is noble and sometimes requires a consistent, persistent approach. To want the latest toy simply because it is the latest toy and you whine until you get it is simply unacceptable. In the history of the Israelites, we have examples of persistence and examples of complaint. When the Israelites followed God’s law and were faithfully persistent, great things happened. When they simply expected God to do things for them (as a kind of entitlement program) and God did not agree to their request, they whined and got into trouble.
In 2013, we run the same risk. In our prayer, are we persistent or do we whine? Do we pray for what we need or only for what we want? Moreover, do we take the time to pray?
In all of our prayer with God and conversations with our friends may each of us strive to focus on persevering in the faith and being consistent in how we live our lives as Catholic Christians.