Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
One of the reasons that the Christian life is declining in popularity, I suspect, is that it takes work. You have to work in order to enter through the narrow gate, and to follow the narrow road that leads to life. To go to Church on Sunday takes work. To follow the commandments takes work. To avoid un-Christian activities takes work.
Which is easier: to build up or to tear down? There are people, books, movies and websites that tear down our faith and our Church. As we struggle to withstand these blasts, to cooperate with God’s grace, and to build up God’s kingdom on this earth, we have no choice but to feel some discomfort from time to time. This is normal, natural, and not unusual. Discomfort is a sign of growth. Athletes, while training, feel discomfort. Students, while learning, feel discomfort. Athletes need to be pushed by their coaches to persevere. Students need to be pushed by their teachers and their parents to persevere. In the Christian life, we need our pastors and superiors to push us and to encourage us.
Imagine if, at an elementary school, the students were given the freedom to choose which subjects to study, with interference from teachers and parents prohibited. How many students would make good decisions? And you, friend, are you making good decisions in the cultivation of your Christian soul? Who is coaching you and guiding you in your quest to lead a Christian life? We need such people to help us, because it is not easy to enter through the narrow gate, and to travel along the narrow path. May Jesus Christ, who is, himself, the way, guide us, and may we learn from him and from the Catholic pastors he appoints over us.