“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction.” // Matthew 7:13
I am a wide-hipped girl. So when Our Lord tells me, “Enter through the narrow gate,” my first thought is: how in the world am I going to fit through there? Thankfully, my hips are not an impediment. But my pride, my self-reliance, my laziness, and my conformism are.
When I was younger and a brand-new disciple, I thought the narrow way only meant one thing: intense self-denial. I read the lives of the Saints and wanted to imitate their penances while forgetting one very important fact: I was Rocio, not the Saint I was reading about.
So instead of leading me closer to Jesus, my pride was taking me on a merry-go-round by this newfound penitential life. Then I finally began reading Saint Thérèse’s Story of A Soul. And oh! how it irked me. How could things be so simple?
My self-reliance on the path to holiness was turned on its head as I welcomed Thérèse as a teacher. The narrow gate was more than a list of penances and recited prayers—as beautiful and necessary as those are. The narrow gate, I was beginning to learn, is Jesus.
Today, the Church celebrates the feast of a man who died at the young age of twenty-three, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. Thérèse died at twenty-four. These two young people, much younger than I am now, they got it! They found and loved the narrow way. It is said that Aloysius spoke the Holy Name as his first word in this life and as his last word on his deathbed (source). He knew that Jesus was the narrow road by which he was to travel into eternity.
As our society allures us with the promise of comfort, acceptance, and easy-living, may we allow the Holy Spirit to make us non-conformists, displeased with the broad road and ever in search of the narrow way: Jesus, “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
My prayer for you today is that like Aloysius and Thérèse, you desire to find the narrow path and recommit your lives to this “road that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14).Find the narrow path. // Rocio Hermes Click To Tweet