The Open Road-The Road Less Traveled

A thought that has been rolling around in my mind today and especially as I prayed the Rosary on the way to work this morning and as I walked home from visiting my wife at St. Gerard's tonight is this:The road is open ahead of us. The Lord opened it when we were baptized and entered into life with him as members of His Mystical Body, the Church. He never places obstacles in our way or sets a stumbling block in our path to trip us up. He offers us every grace and help which are above and beyond anything we might ever hope for. The ultimate gift that he presents us when we approach him on the way is Himself in the Holy Eucharist, as He comes to us body, blood, soul and divinity. He desires that we become one with Him and that is what truely happens when we receive Him in the state of grace

What then is the problem with most of us? Why don't we feel anything? Why don't we love Him in a deeper and more profound way? I think the answer has something to do with our wanting to follow Him our way instead of His. We want to walk with Him on our path.I think that we Catholics have become very sloppy in the way we choose to live and in the practice of Faith. We want only one hour to be set aside for Him on Sundays and the rest of the week we want to ourselves to do as we please. We want to be bathed in the worldy, wealthy,easy life.. We want to accept only the parts from the deposit of faith that comes to us through His Church down the ages that suit us and don't force us to make any decisions that would cause us to change the way we live. We want to ignore His timeless call to repentance and conversion.

Jesus tells us that the road to perdition is wide and smooth and the road to heaven is narrow and steep and so it is.The road to heaven passes by way of the Cross. He tells us that if we want to be His disciples we must take up our cross, daily and follow Him.He promises to be right there carrying it with us as we trod up the hill of our own Calvary with Him.

This brings me to the crux of what is on my mind. If we don't follow Him in this way, then we doom ourselves to living very unfulfilled, unhappy and mundane lives. Any possibility for deep love, true joy and blissful service are mere phantoms that escape our grasp. We are the ones who place the obstacles. We are the ones who cling to the hindrances.We even cling to our favorite sins. We are lazy and even if it is unhappy ground that makes us miserable, it is familiar and we think it is good or at least the best we can hope for. The trouble with this focus is that it really prevents us from experiencing the true goods.It keeps us from being happy, heroic and healthy co-workers in Christ's vinyard. Clinging to the world robs our focus and clouds our vision which prevents us from becoming what God has always desired that we be. It prevents our gifts from flowering and stifles, even snuffs out the life that we have received from Him.

The only remedy for this malaise or acedia (spiritual laziness) is to have recourse to the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist. We must not loose hope, rather, we must run to Him over and over and over again, begging Him for mercy and receiving it from His loving and open hand, then, after He has dusted us off, cleansed and fed us, we take up that cross again and move toward the finish line. We must turn to Him often in prayer and make Him the sole focus of our lives. We  will find our vision becoming clearer, our mind and shoulders stronger and will experience an eagerness to race away with Him into an inspired life of joyful love. We will begin to swoon whenever Jesus, the subject of our love is near. We will desire to be with Him and to remain in His presence always. Lord, this is what I truely want. Help me. Amen.     By Deacon Jim Hunt


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