The lies of Easy Street

January 9, 2010

You stand stripped of your pride and your disillusionment and your possessions.  You feel a heaviness, as if a lead brick had been attached to each of your limbs.  You feel small, looking up and seeing nothing but the heavens above.  You ache and mourn.  Your heart beats at a rapid and unnatural pace, and yet you can feel each beat as if it were an anvil striking your body.  When this happens, only two things remain; suffering and joy.  These two cannot be extracted from each other, without one – the other would be incomplete and insignificant.

Who would want joy that had not been tested and refined through the fire of suffering?

Who would want to suffer if not certain that joy would come as the antidote to darkness?

When suffering and joy are separated, as is a popular theme, the damages are untold.  Stimulation is substituted for joy, self pity is substituted for suffering.  This evil pair knows no bounds, and offers wicked, fast solutions.  Unwanted pregnancy: abortion.  Unwanted marriage: divorce.  Unwanted body: plastic surgery.  Unwanted thoughts: drugs.  Unwanted results: cheating.

If these solutions are so easy and so helpful, why are people more unhappy today than they ever have been before?

The real irony lies in the fact that the two can never become separated, and the harder a society works to do so the farther they will stray from the truth.  Suffering begets joy, and joy begets suffering.  In the most supreme example, God the Father sacrifices his Son, his joy, so that He could save all mankind from their rightful punishment, by suffering.  Some think that he came to save mankind from suffering, but he did not.  He came to save us from ourselves.  When he said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden light” he did not mean that the Faithfull’s existences would be thoughtless and lukewarm.  He is calling all to a battle where He takes the brunt of it head-on, but His followers must also courageously take their blows.

We are warned that if we follow him, we will be persecuted and made to give up this life for the pursuit of His heavenly joy.

Why would we want to achieve something if it came easily?

Oh, but what joy it will be.  No more suffering, no more sorrow, no more tears.  It will all be washed away, and each person will appear as they should have been.  Each earthly tarnishing will be erased.  All eyes, all hearts will be completely turned to Him.  In that eternal moment, all will know the truth that was so badly muddled on earth.  In that eternal moment, the Church Triumphant will see the fruits of their labor.  In that eternal moment, all will revel in the glory of the Lord and praise His Holy Name.

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