Good morning!

At the weekend I was talking to a priest about my life! I said to him:

“I know that I’m blessed by God and yet at times it feels like a curse”!!

He replied with a smile

“It is a curse!!!

Of course he was joking but he was well aware of the human pain that being called by Jesus involves!

Where christianity differs from the new age is in the surrender of our wills and allowing God to guide our lives!

God’s ways are not easy and while they are worthwhile and fulfilling there is no escape from very great suffering of the soul!

At times He can call us out in love and then later seem to abandon us and do a saint Peter so to speak!

In these moments we only have blind faith to go on and it’s during these moments that Satan attacks the most!

It is also during these moments that God is closest to us and that our spirits and souls are being purified the most but usually it doesn’t feel like this! If anything it feels that we’ve lost all faith and gone right back to the start like in a game of snakes and ladders!!

This spiritual reality doesn’t make christianity very attractive! Who wants to suffer?

It means that many people are like the seed that falls on shallow ground. A flower grows but as soon as the harsh weather comes it withers as there is no root!

And so it is in prayer circles. Many flock to prayer meetings and to places like Medjugorje for what they can get!

“Jesus, heal this, Mary heal that, Father can you pray for this, brother can you pray for that”

Of course it’s a start but often it’s all about MEEEEEE!

Few are they who are willing to suffer for others to be blessed, who are willing to spend hours in prayer in reparation for the sins of others out of love!

Why?

Because this involves true sacrifice and is hard work!

Some souls like Padre Pio were called to this in a special way but yet we are all called to it in one way or the other!

When it’s heavy and the suffering is great we may feel like giving up and indeed many good-intentioned but unspiritual people around us may encourage us to give up or to cut a bit off our cross!

In the name of charity many may offer to lighten your cross instead of helping you to carry it!

Many can’t understand God’s place and plan for suffering and sacrifice and only preach and teach half the gospel by over focusing on God’s personal love for each one of us and under focusing on the difficult mission He has for us!!

Alternative spiritualities seem far more attractive at times as they sell a sort of heaven on earth but yet we must accept that as nice and all as it would be, it’s not real!

Jesus lost many followers because of this teaching!

Peter couldn’t accept that Jesus was going to be crucified, he wanted to protect Jesus from the cross and yet Jesus scolded him severely!

“Get behind me Satan!!”

And so today during this lenten period take a moment and ask yourself two questions gently and yet firmly and honestly.

1. Am I doing my best to follow Jesus in my life and make sacrifices for the sake of others or am I just focused on myself and my needs?

2. Am I a stumbling block to others who are following Jesus and who are suffering or am I like Simon who helped Jesus to carry His cross?

If you find yourself guilty so to speak of either of these two modern day dispositions, don’t despair but repent and resolve to change your thinking, your attitude and your actions!

Following Jesus is not easy and without constant prayer we simply can’t do it!

And if you find yourself on this narrow path and struggling, take hope!

Ever tear counts, every prayer counts, every step counts, every day counts so don’t lose hope!

May you all have a blessed day and be not afraid of the cross, you own or that others!

Bless your day!

Michael