“This world and the world to come are two enemies. We cannot therefore be friends to both; but we must decide which we will forsake and which we will enjoy.” ~ Pope Saint Clement I
Most appropriate are the Readings chosen today (1 Peter 4:12-19 & Matthew 7:6, 12-14) in support of the Feast Day of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, a pair of English Martyrs who died at the hands of King Henry VIII in defense of the indissolubility of marriage.
In one of the last of her apparitions at Fatima, Sister Lucia tells us that the final battle between the Lord Jesus and Satan will be waged over marriage and the family. She went on to explain that anyone who operates in defense of the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be opposed in every possible way, because this, she tells us, is the decisive issue.
Fatherless children, skyrocketing divorce rates, the legalization of gay marriage, which is neither complimentary or fruitful, easy-access pornography, a culture which practically glorifies adultery https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Life-in-the-Post-6th-Commandment-Culture are but a few of the tragedies that highlight, or should In say lowlight, the wreckage that the secular world has wrought. These two men, Saint Thomas More in particular, were every bit as prescient as there were brave. Yet we know, as Sister Lucia so bluntly reminds us, that Our Lady has already crushed the slithering serpent’s head. But how many souls will he steal and subsequently crush?
“Enter through the narrow gate,” Jesus urges his disciples on today’s Gospel (Matthew 7:6, 12-14). He goes on to point out that “the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.” We’ve reflected upon these words in the past by way of Luke’s rendition of this encounter https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Broadening-the-Narrow-Gate and it’s important to revisit them frequently, perhaps best by way of a thorough examination of conscience. Are you currently on the path that leads to the narrow gate? The path, as Jesus says in the waning words of today’s Gospel, that leads to life?
Christians can never and will never be well adjusted in today’s culture. Something will always be off kilter, out of sync. The truth, which has always been our guide, is not held in high esteem anymore. It is instead oddly and rather inexplicably determined by the whims of the times. In fact the truth is so obscure in these days and falsehood so established, many are not even vaguely familiar with it. Jesus is truth, the word ~ or truth ~ made flesh, which is why He and his teachings are not held in the profound esteem that they warrant.
No one enters passes through the narrow gate alone. The Holy Spirit, alive and burning within you, will usher you through. Wisdom, understanding, patience, and courage ~ the virtue that took Saint Thomas More by the hand and walked him to Heaven ~ can be yours. We must seek to welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives. “Come Holy Spirit, guide me to the narrow gate that leads to eternal paradise.” Your prayer can be as simple as that. God eagerly teaches the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit
The path is difficult, let their be no doubt about it. But one thing we know; the gate is narrow because truth guards the entrance.
Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, pray for us.