Yesterday at Holy Mass Father gave a great homily. I want to share what he said in my own words.
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate…”
Father spoke of the need to struggle to enter the narrow gate. To strive is to struggle.
Struggling is perservering. To enter the narrow gate is to persevere til the end.
I was talking to my sister about some small ordeal before Mass and i found myself saying, ” i’ll turn it around into a curse for him [the devil] and into a blessing for me.” Whever things don’t go my way i need to give them to Jesus that He will turn them into blessings. That is redemptive suffering. Sufferings, trials, setbacks all make up the struggle. Endure them as ‘discipline’ St. Paul reminds us.
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.
Father reminded us beautifully of Bl. Mother Teresa’s spiritual ‘darkness’. She felt practically no consolation in prayer for 50 years. This is important to note. It is sometimes said “it was easy for her, she was a saint!” On the contrary it was a constant struggle. She felt nothing but kept praying, adoring Jesus in the Eucharist and serving Him in the poorest of the poor. And what of us? We tend to give up when we encounter a struggle. Bl. Mother Teresa felt like giving up many times but she resisted, she fought. She struggled to enter the narrow gate! And enter it she did.
As I finish this post it is helpful for me to recall Father’s story:
He was 400 pounds at the time of his pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy. As he made his way to the chapel called the portciuncula¬¬¬–the little portion, people were laughing at him. When he got to the last door, he knew why. Unable to go back, he ended up geeting stuck in the doorway. People behind him pushed while those in front pulled. And eventually he got in.
Prayers of intercession are so effective. Because it is God’s grace that enables us to get through the doorway or gate. The gate is Christ.
Today begins the novena to Bl. Mother Teresa. I need all the help i can get.