"Our greatest work is our desire, our goal to be like Jesus. It's work. You have to struggle with yourself, you have to do violence to your passions, to your faults, to your weaknesses; you gotta change! You have to be transformed into that image. You can't buy it; it's a life long struggle to be holy as He is holy." (Mother Angelica)
Being Christian takes work. Aspiring to be like Jesus is work that many may not wish to attempt or begin; yet, we all desire the fruits of what such a life would produce. We wish the merits without the work. The difficulty of working for holiness is intimidating. As Mother Angelica so bluntly expresses we must "do violence to our passions, to our faults, to our weaknesses" in order to be transformed and changed.
It can often be perceived that living to fulfill our passions is more gratifying;that it is somehow more rewarding.The worldly work that we pursue with persistent ambition seems to offer us a tangible reward and a sense of accomplishment. Perhaps the first problem we are faced with today is the avoidance of wanting to lead a life of holiness in the first place. We have become obsessed and immersed in the idea of accumulating accolades and have forgotten about God. We have lost sight of Who is most important.
We have developed a perception that in leading a life of holiness we will somehow be taken away from everything "we desire", from everything we have worked for. To let go and allow God to work in our lives is not a matter of losing anything; it is a matter of gaining more than we ever imagined. It is to welcome the helping hand of One capable of providing the fruits that no human work and accomplishment can ever offer us.
If we surrender and realize that working to be like Jesus is the work that matters most, then we will begin to see the work around us becoming more fruitful and successful. It may not be this way initially, but do not lose heart. Continue to trust in the Lord. If we are taken away from our "desires" and everything that we have worked for, then it is because there is something greater, something more that our Lord has in mind for us.
Lord, today we pray that You will help open our hearts and our minds to the presence of You in our lives. We are often overwhelmed by our worldly responsibilities and duties, forgetting that You are capable of bearing our burdens and aiding our work. Provide us with the clarity to see that the most worthy work we can accomplish is that of serving You and longing to be most like Jesus.Amen. (C.C.)