Following Jesus–even when times are hard

Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength.    –St. Philip Neri *

Sometimes we feel the nudge of the Spirit asking us to do things we think cannot possibly do. Perhaps we have been hurt in the past by rejection or loss, and are afraid to take up loving someone again. Maybe we feel we don’t have enough education, good looks, or poise for a task. We may feel too young to qualify, or too old to try something new.

But following Christ (or any spiritual path) involves remaining open to new things, to go wherever the Spirit leads us. Sometimes this is easy to do, especially in the first flush of spiritual enthusiasm. However, when times get hard, when we are tempted, or when others around us ridicule us, it can be very difficult to live as Jesus lived. 

St. Philip Neri reminds us that God does not ask us to do the impossible, at least not what it truly impossible. Even in the rough places in the road, God is there with us, to guide us, to comfort us, and to challenge us to grow.

Is there something in your life that God is asking you to do, but you are shrinking from out of fear?

If that “something” really is God’s desire for your life, then we can be sure that somehow, some way, God will bring it about, sooner or later—if only we open ourselves to receiving divine guidance, divine strength. It’s worth reading Philip Neri’s words again; write them on your heart (as I will strive to do as well):

Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength.

Until next time, Amen!

 

*Philip Neri quote from The Wisdom of the Saints: An Anthology by Jill Haak Adels (Oxford University Press), p. 58.

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