When it comes to putting God first in our lives we have to be ready for the fact that this may set us apart from the rest of society in that the world is hurrying along the path of damnation, while we are struggling to maintain our commitment to the path of salvation! This may sound a little harsh or even alarmist in terms of being judgemental concerning the state of the world. However, to say anything less would be to not speak the truth! It would be a disservice to those who do not have faith in Christ to tell them that they are okay when they are not! The truth of the matter is that eternal life comes through faith in Jesus Christ and no other way!

Jesus tells his disciples that they will weep and wail, or lament their situation in life precisely because they know the truth and are responding to it with repentance and a life of service of the Gospel. The challenge in all of this is to realise that addressing the issue of sin in our lives now is a positive thing and it prepares us well for Judgement Day. Those who continue to live their lives in apparent or decided ignorance of the demands of the Gospel will be in for a very rude shock! I cannot believe that people really think that they have nothing to answer for in their lives! They must know that they are sinners and need to repent. It would be a very deluded person who does not know or accept this fact.

The saints realised the wisdom of repentance and saw every act of penance done here on earth as a worthwhile step towards the goal of eternal life. If it is good enough for the saints, it ought to be good enough for us. The teachings of the saints also speak about how every act of suffering here on earth is an opportunity for us to confront our sins and let the Holy Spirit deal with them by joining our suffering to that of Jesus’ on the cross. In this way we begin the process of purging both sin and the effects of sin from our lives here and now and we do not leave it all for after our death.

How do I see the role or fact of suffering in my life? Am I willing to see that it is a means by which God confronts and deals with the sin in my life?

Holy Spirit, I want to grow in holiness. Help me to open my heart to your work so that I will be better able to surrender my life to the power of your grace.