Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Real Struggle

Earlier this year, I moved away from my family to take a job in a better economy and gratefully fulfill my duty as a provider Husband and Father. That moved has absorbed my time to a large extent and is why writing here ceased for a time.

This is not the subject of this post, but is the backstory.

I have narrated and written about my personal entry into the Christian and Catholic Journey, which has focused (in the past) and still today targets my conscience and the internal truth revealed by conscience. There is a real struggle occurring which I fight that I am confident many Christians are facing and exposing it here I hope to draw out some of your insights, experience and truth.

I have observed in friends, family and myself a material penalty to following Christ. To reinforce that even more, I have, and continue to see that not following Christ apparently does not incur this penalty. My family began to have material and financial hardships after our commitment to Christ became evident and visible. That has been consistent for most of this decade, personally. I have a few other close friends with families who upon conversion and sincere effort to get closer to Christ are experiencing hardships which were not occurring in all the years where the Christian belief and following were non-existent. Beneficial employment, maintaining adequate house ownership, family relationship troubles are persisting or creating themselves day in and day out. I can say for myself those were not even a thought until the last 8 years.

I have conversed with my wife, and she with me that it is obvious that Christians who make real moves to walk in His follow are consistently plagued by hardships that do not occur outside of that intent. We have on our own observed those in our family and our friend circles which are self proclaimed non-believers prosper in their material efforts. These are people who display selfishness and disregard ( and sometimes disrespect) for those who should matter most, or those who are close to them and are in need.

At times it is mid-bending to see the clear divide and ironic backwards results in front of our eyes and hearts.

I have written about my studies in this subject, extensively about Thomas Merton and his ultimate question "will a God save us in spite of our flawed efforts?" The internal benefits to following Christ are clear, and as I have stated here, cannot be equaled materially or otherwise.


Can we follow Him with zeal and passion when this struggle is imposed by that very following? This defies the same logic truth which the conscience reveals. Following the Law written in our own hearts by Him produces distraction and doubt that tomorrow will not leave our minds and spirits free from these stresses that cut into that beneficial bond. It is enough to consider a turn away for any mere Human.

Yet the question remains....why is this struggle imposed on us? It is not a question of reality, that is not disputed. Many of you know exactly what I am pointing to.

While I am far from turning back to secular values, I feel a toll occurring and exponentially building a wall of evidence against this journey. Is my Faith shaken? Not yet...but you can see from this post anything is possible with enough pressure. My internal life change is solid, but is it enough to overcome every new penalty? That I wonder. I find gratitude is at times my only relief albeit momentary, it is my bond and connection when I can produce no other.