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The road is hard that leads to life... (Matthew 7:14)
"The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it raises towards ever-wider horizons." --Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day XI
The Holy Father doesn't pretend that his asking you to follow Jesus is going to be easy. Jesus himself didn't hide that fact either. Remember the rich young man who met Jesus in Matthew, chapter 19? He wanted eternal life, but when Jesus told him it wouldn't be easy he went away. Don't go away. Stay the course because it leads to great things.
What is the hardest thing you think Jesus asks of you? Write that down on a piece of paper. Now, write out a prayer to Jesus that asks him to help you continue to follow him even when the road gets really steep. Place the piece of paper in your dresser drawer. Each time this week that you feel it is too hard to follow Jesus pull out that piece of paper and say the prayer.
Jesus, even though it is difficult to follow you at times, be patient with me. I want to follow you even when it is not easy.
In September 1987, while visiting San Francisco, Pope John Paul II met with AIDS patients and embraced a little boy by the name of Brendan as a sign of his compassion and affection for the ill.
My Dear Young Friends: Pope John Paul II Speaks to Youth on Life, Love, and Courage
Copyright © 2002 -- Reprinted with permission of the editor, John M. Vitek.
My Dear Young Friends, a collection of fifty-two weekly reflections on living in the Spirit, invites young people to read and act on Pope John Paul II's inspiring addresses to young people gathered at annual World Youth Day celebrations. Please visit www.smp.org for more information from the publisher, Saint Mary's Press.