The Gospel is calling us to choose suffering so we can be detached from creation and be more like our Creator, Love, and inherit eternal life.
I used to think and hope that heaven was just a divine junket that goes on forever and ever and ever. But then it’d just sound like a snobby, exclusive club reserved for the all-star religious people whom God likes most.
And that is not heaven (so far as I can tell).
The angels and saints seem to have an extensive to-do list. The number of Marian apparitions and miracles by saintly intervention are proof that those in heaven don’t have their feet up on some celestial shoreline and drinking a cold one. They are very involved with the Church.
“I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.”
-St. Therese of Lisieux
So why should we choose to suffer? To weep, to be poor, to endure hate?
Because by choosing to suffer, we prepare for the eternal exchange of love.
I like to think of the spiritual, psychological and even bodily suffering that Christ invites us to endure as God’s divine workout plan.
Lifting weights and running don’t always feel great, but when we need to rely on our health and strength for a competition, we understand why it was necessary to endure the discomfort of exercising.
Similarly, the discomforts that Christ talks about will prepare us for heaven. It is by choosing to be poor, to weep, to sacrifice status for His name’s sake that we prepare for an eternity of loving.
“The world offers you comfort but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”
-Pope Benedict XVI
You were made for heaven.
You were made to love.
During the week, Matthew Juliano is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band. You can find more content by Matt and his band at www.fullarmorband.com.