Difficulties, struggles and hardships do not lessen in life as we age. Rather, they just change their complexion. We change in and through them. They can become the vehicle for some of the greatest growth in our relationship with the Lord. What had been intended for our demise can become the path to our restoration. The saints of old, such as St. Paul, grew so accustomed to difficulties they began to “boast” of them. The question that we should ask ourselves when we face struggle, difficulty, failure, disappointment and the frequent pain of life is how we respond?
We all take as a given that the goal of Christianity is entering into eternal life; however, attaining this goal requires intense daily effort on our part. The spiritual life is not an easy endeavor because of our wounded human nature. True, Baptism washes away Original Sin, but we are left with the effects of Original Sin. We do not have complete control over ourselves. The spiritual life is a continual battle.