Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The Road To Heaven. By: C.C.
"Raise your eyes to Heaven and you will see that no one arrives there without hard work and continual afflictions. When things go wrong, say to yourself, "This is the road to Heaven. I see the harbor and I am sure that the tempests will not stop me from reaching it." (St. Francis De Sales)
There is no easy route to Heaven. If we take the time to reflect on the lives of the Saints and the events of our own Christian journey we may come to realize the truth in this reflection shared by St. Francis De Sales. In reflecting upon the life of Jesus and His first followers we can better understand the lives that we are called to live if we long to share in the Eternal Kingdom with our Lord.
Similarly, in the pursuit of anything worthwhile there is a certain amount of hard work and commitment needed in order to advance ourselves. It may often seem much easier for one to strive for the grade, the finish line, the end zone, or a job promotion due to the visible destination that we can almost touch with our finger trips.
The Spiritual work for the Kingdom of God requires immense faith in what is not seen. It takes belief in the invisible and total surrender to a reality that we can not see or touch. It is for this very reason that so many remain skeptical when it comes to any talk about Heaven or the existence of God in general. This can also be experienced by "believers" when things in life do not go accordingly or when there seems to be a complete absence of any "goodness" in their current situations.
Believing in God and being devoted to a spiritual way of life does not excuse one from the trials and sufferings of this world. It is in these times of difficulty that we must raise our eyes to Heaven with perseverance and trust in our Lord. We must praise our "lowly" times and trust in the promises of God and all that awaits us.
Beyond the Eternal joy that we are striving for-we must also begin to see glimpses of this invisible reality present among us in our current situations. As we begin to see our hardships as a chance for growth, purification, and as the "road to Heaven" we may also be more inclined to identify and appreciate our daily blessings.
Lord, help us to see you in all things. Give us the clarity to recognize Your love in our sorrow and our joy alike. Help us always to be drawn nearer to You in faith and to strengthen our walk with You daily. Provide us with comfort when we lose hope. Gently call us back to You if we should stumble or fall away. Forgive us when we fail to see your goodness in our lives and have mercy on us. Lord we thank you for the gift of another day and another chance to know you as we strive to become the children you have created us to be. Make our hearts pure enough to love you above all things, our eyes open to seeing you always, and our will to serve you and meet you in Heaven propel us forward in this life. Amen (C.C.)
"God sends afflictions, but nothing comes from the divine hand that is not useful to those souls who fear Him. Be happy if they come and receive them with a heart filled with filial love, because God sends them with a heart that is paternally concerned with your perfection. He wishes to purify and refine His holy love in you. Think often about the duration of eternity and do not get upset about the mishaps of this transitory and mortal life." (St. Francis De Sales)