Date: 10/2/2003 12:17:53 PM
Name or Pseudonym: Oscar
We all of something in common: We have been placed on this earth to prove to our Creator that we can be made worthy of Heaven. We can not do this unless we cooperate with the graces He gives. While God gives graces to all, He does not necessarily give them equally - or rather, we do not cooperate with them equally.
Sacrifice is a crucial component of our cooperation. And should anyone fail to comprehend it, God demands sacrifice. Hes made it very clear throughout the history of mankind, from Cane and Abel all the way down to the perfect sacrifice of Christ, re-enacted on the altars of His religion; the religion of the New Covenant.
Jesus tells us to take up our crosses - some people have more crosses to bear than others. Its easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves when the chips are down, but if we want to be more like Christ and His saints, we must take up our crosses and view them as opportunities to obtain graces, even if we do not voluntarily take on burdens. [Read about St. Pauls tribulations and how he reveled in them.] That being said, the greatest saints abandoned worldly pleasures and creature comforts purposefully in order to aquire graces for themselves and for mankind. St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Therese, etc. Why would they need to suffer and sacrifice for others? Because most people dont want to make sacrifices. How many people go through life avoiding their crosses? How many people, especially those of today, view religion as an oecumenical sing-along? People do not get into Heaven because they just arent bad enough for Hell; on the contrary, people go to Hell because they arent good enough to go to Heaven.
The choice to be made then is not whether or not we should become voluntarily poor. It is, what we do with our circumstances? Are we willing to accept the path that God has laid before us?