“Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and takeup his cross, and follow me.”Matthew 16:24
I have found that if the things I am doing are hard, there is the possibility I am not doing things right, but there is also the probability that I am doing the right things.
This life was not meant to be easy. I use to let things, people, and places get me drunk. And when one loses sight of the end goal you get distracted and caught up in worldy things and pleasures very easily, until they control you. I had the illusion that I could control everything and that it should be done the way I want. This way of thinking was to no one’s benefit. Not even my own. It only served as another reason for me to drink excessively. At least until I got to the point where I didnt care anymore, and I couldnt stop after the first drink.
To quote a twenty-four hour meditation for alcoholics and addicts:
“When you live the right way, things seem to work out well for you. When you live the wrong way, things seem to work out badly for you. You seem to take out of life about what you put into it. If you disobey the laws of nature, the chances are that you will be unhealthy. If you disobey the spiritual and moral laws, the chances are that you will be unhappy. By following the laws of nature and the spiritual laws of honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love, you can expect to be reasonably healthy and happy.”
I know that I am only truly happy when I am doing the will of God. Because all good comes from God, I know that what appears good, in the long run often isn’t. The things that are most hard are those that will pay off in eternity. When I let myself become preoccupied with something other than the glory of God each day, such as sloth, lust, or anger, I am focused on myself.
Like a car on the road, I affect the people closest to me with my actions. Everyone ahead of me is gone I cant get through to them, if I slow down everyone behind me does too. I think that is something that hurts me the most about my drinking. I really hurt a lot of people especially my parents. I was selfish my whole life, and I didn’t listen, I have always had the habit of taking the most simple things in life and messing it all up because I got complacent or bored.
I have always battled procrastination or sloth. I have a hard time getting interested into things because everything has lost its shimmer. I have grown up and sobered up and finally see the world for what it really is. Why it has taken me this long when I was told all about it and didn’t listen, I do not know. Right now however, I can change for the rest of my life.
Part of this change includes an acceptance of His Will for me on a daily basis. When I wake up in the morning I try to get on my knees and offer God every physical, mental, and emotional pain I will have to endure for the day. I do this to say sorry for how I have offended Him and I ask that I may have the grace to know, love, and serve Him that day. There are plenty of tests everyday which I am so thankful for and try to be ever mindful of. The problem in the past was I let these things get to me, when in the end it is the Supreme Judge who will take into consideration our whole life.
Our judgements will be alone with our creator (there will be a general judgement, and a particular judgment more on them later). We will have to render account for everything before Him trembling and remorseful. When I talk to God, I do so alone, as with most all Catholics I know. This is a reason I do not typically hold hands with others when I pray. I think it takes the attention of what YOU want to say to God and puts it on…well holding hands.
I could write a few pages on the Sign of the Cross, but as most know, Catholics make it before and after prayer and some many times a day. The reason we do this in short, is because everything should be done or said, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of The Holy Ghost”, and the cross that is made with our hand is in respect to the tool used for our salvation. To ever remind us that Jesus died for our sins. I never understood why so many people make fun of this holy and sacred act. Given the immense power it has had in healing and miracles, its all out there, people just have to read. There are countless testimonials of saints lives, exorcisms, and everyday living that illustrate the power of the Sign of the Cross. Again, it’s out of respect and reverence for Our Creator and Saviour, nothing else.
When I keep in mind that all the sins and sufferings will help me become better at the virtues; it makes dealing with life on life’s terms a whole lot more bearable. When I can put my needs and wants to death and sacrifice as much as I can to show charity to someone even if they hate everything I stand for, my trials and tribulations are all worth surmounting
You only live once, and those decisions echoe for eternity. Pick up your cross and smile, walk with The Lord awhile.
God Bless BJS!!