Grace to you!
Does being a devout child of God make life easier? Not really. It doesn’t destroy the desires of the flesh either. When we ignore the reality of the desires of the flesh, it is then we are caught unawares in the trap.
Sometimes we seem to suppose that when we are born anew in Christ, old habits and unpleasant experiences will simply disappear into thin air without us working hard towards that goal. Unfortunately, we realize that’s not how Christian life works. It isn’t magic. We have to work hard and gradually replace/overcome old habits with the grace-life of virtue. We are human and not spirit; hence, we deal with our weak nature day in and day out.
In reality, the closer we come to God, or rather the more we respond to God’s invitation, the tougher the struggles we face. If you’re a “big soul” in the spiritual life, you would probably have to deal with greater temptations. Bigger crosses go to those with larger hearts for God and for love.
Even in spiritual warfare, the devil doesn't care so much about tempting those who are already trapped in the life of the flesh. They are already in his closet. He works night and day to make life tougher for the virtuous and the righteous. Of course, he had to be true to his name—the deceiver, divider. His goal is to pull the just down. Be courageous and do not let the enemy.
Let Saint Paul’s words be a source of encouragement to you as you deal with challenges in your spiritual life: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us” (Rom 8:18).
Though in the above quotation St. Paul probably speaks of the cosmological expectation of salvation for the whole of creation, the lesson relates to us in our unique individual cases too.
Hope keeps the believer going. As a believer, faith and hope in the future glory in Christ keep you going. It’s the Christian hope, not simply a sense of optimism. It is that grace, virtue from Christ himself, helping us to reach the finish line despite the hurdles on the way.
As Saint Paul writes, “…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14).
Would it help you in your struggles to realize that Jesus has already won for you? Hold on to him, Christ our hope. Be stouthearted.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday Week 30 A: Rom 8:18-25; Lk 13:18-21]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.