We are souls enslaved by fear. Thick iron clad walls stand between us and what we can be and do in this life on our path to God. But we are governed by fear. We are governed by what we have ruled impossible for us to do. We live lives of softness and comfort. Lives that are safe and sound within the confines of our comfort zone. In the great ages of exploration, there were always those brave men and women that looked around their surrounding habitat and asked themselves one simple question: “What if I went beyond?” Most thought them to be crazy. But it was this seemingly insane question that led them beyond their tribal forest, across the formidable waters, and outside the very planet they walked upon. What if you asked that question about the comfort zone you live in?
There are two ways to heaven: the way of average and the way of glory. One ways lies within the comfy quarters of our average and secure life. A way filled with half-hearted attempts at sanctity and petty goals that take little to accomplish. It is a way that keeps us on the path of grace but one that is littered with comfort and ease so as not to make our walking it too difficult or overbearing. But it is a way governed by fear. The fear of failure and the fear of losing those things that are precious to us for our cushioned lives. We who walk this path are small. Small in ambition and small in soul. Grace is not lacking, but it is not overwhelming either. It is the land of in between and we are its soft and content inhabitants. There is no thought of going beyond, no desire to be more than just ordinary. We are afraid of those things because of what they might demand from us. So instead of giving ourselves and breaking free from those chains of contentment, we say that being anything more than what we are now is simply pride and the desire for vainglory.
It is Man looking only for his own progress and gain. We say it is not Godly. This helps us sleep much better at night with our thick blankets and climate controlled rooms. God doesn’t want us to be anything more than this. He only gives those extraordinary desires to the great saints. And it would be pride for me to think that I am one of those great saints. So all I have to do is love God as best I can and all will be fine. So let me snuggle up with my Netflix show filled with worldly and even morally questionable content and slowly slide into sleep. This is how the good yet normal Catholic life should be.
Enough of the excuses.
God didn’t create you to be just average. He didn’t create you for comfort. He created you for greatness. Not greatness for yourself but greatness to shine forth for the world to see what He can do to a soul willing to go beyond. Stop being afraid of what price you will have to pay to become what He wants you to be. Stop being imprisoned by the idea that you can’t be something besides just average. This is not some self-help nonsense. This is a reality check. This is a wake up call. This is something that no cute book with little words of encouragement can get you to do. Only you can unlock the potential that you have. You want to live the life that God has planned for you? A life that leads to real sanctity? Then you need to get rid of those layers of softness that cradle your being like a beast strangling its helpless prey.
We fall to temptation and into sin because, at the end of the day, we don’t think we can beat it. It's too difficult to endure. Well of course it is. Because you have catered to every little whim of yours for years. When you’re hungry, you eat, thirsty you drink, cold you turn the heat up, warm you turn it down. You stand outside a shower for ten minutes waiting for it to reach the perfect temperature, you start your car early so as to get into a warm climate. You sleep in when you want, you eat what you want, you drink what you want, you watch whatever you want, and you do whatever you want. And so when it comes time to overcome a temptation, of course you are going to fall. Because your softness has made anything difficult an impossibility. When two options are presented, you choose the easier one.
Start choosing the tougher road. You want to eat now? Say no. You want to drink now? Say no. You want to watch Netflix now? Say no. You like the warm shower? Then make it cold. You like a big cushiony blanket at night? Then use a thin sheet. Get into your mind and free it from the idea that you only go after the more comfortable path. No longer. Now yours is the path of denial, the path that beats down the voice inside you that says: “I want what is easier.” You want to reach God? You want to stand tall beside Him in this world littered with immorality and corruption? Then start saying “No” to yourself whenever you can. Every day should be a hunt, a search for what you can do to fight against yourself. And don’t just pick little tiny things. Find the things that you know are going to really hurt. The things that deep down you don’t want to give up or stop doing. Get rid of those things. Because here is the truth - you are nothing to God until you give yourself 100% in the things that are difficult and in the things that you don’t want to do.
Stop being soft. And start being Catholic. Not the little flimsy, and fake version of the catholic that you have conjured up in order to be easier on yourself but the real, hard and true version. The one that wakes up everyday with a drive in their mind and a will ready and yearning to wage war with their every inclination and comfort in order to overcome self. You are not called to just crawl and cower behind Christ on the road to the Cross, but to set fire to the whole world as you drive deep into the dirt and ascend the summit where lies the only thing worth living for - victory through death in Christ.
No more excuses. Slap a Post-It Note on your mirror today and write the question that will everyday stare you in the face and challenge you with five simple words:
“What if I went beyond?”