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.

However....

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.

....you?

2 comments:

Joseph Kozma said...

Brother all I can tell you is this difference in level of life hardship between Christian and unbelievers is real. My brother and I are in the same business. I am in South Florida, he is in Southern California. My brother is not a believer in Christ and undoubtedly thinks my faith is something of zero value with regard to improving human life. I would guess that his view of Christianity is that it is mechanism for weak people to somehow cope with the world and the troubles thereof. I have told him of his and all unbeliever’s need of Jesus Christ for salvation and for the teachings of the Church to live life rightly; he pridefully scoffs at such a notion. One thing that is amazing to me is the utter and complete lack of adversity and trouble he has in his life. Money rolls in a huge way to him, he has an abundance of clients and customers that is unbelievable in the economic situation our country is in. What differs between us? I am publicly an openly a Catholic Christian, he is a self centered, narcissistic, humanist who walks according to the spirit of the age. The truth is Satan and his associates fight all out to make life as hard as possible for people like you and like me…period. The Enemy will not stop this because, think about it… this is his only purpose for his existence. The Enemy has an agenda, and people like you and me are living witnesses against him and the worldview he promotes. The Holy Apostle said (10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.) Eph Ch. 6. As you are finding out this war is real, it is taxing, it is spiritually exhausting, it is psychologically stressful, and it is often ugly. There is another way to look at it however, it works utterly and completely against us developing the spiritual disease of pride does it not? It for me is a big, heavy, ugly cross. This is when one thinks about it undoubtedly the Lord’s will for He call all of us to take up our crosses and follow him daily. I hope I don’t sound sanctimonious to you at this moment, because continual battle with the Enemy and his helpers can bring a man really low at times, what I want to communicate to you is you are not alone and if you ever need to talk, please email me with your phone number and I will reciprocate. Talking with a fellow warrior can do a lot of good and really edify one’s soul. “Iron sharpeneth iron.” philokalia7@hotmail.com

Joseph Kozma said...

Brother all I can tell you is this difference in level of life hardship between Christian and unbelievers is real. My brother and I are in the same business. I am in South Florida, he is in Southern California. My brother is not a believer in Christ and undoubtedly thinks my faith is something of zero value with regard to improving human life. I would guess that his view of Christianity is that it is mechanism for weak people to somehow cope with the world and the troubles thereof. I have told him of his and all unbeliever’s need of Jesus Christ for salvation and for the teachings of the Church to live life rightly; he pridefully scoffs at such a notion. One thing that is amazing to me is the utter and complete lack of adversity and trouble he has in his life. Money rolls in a huge way to him, he has an abundance of clients and customers that is unbelievable in the economic situation our country is in. What differs between us? I am publicly an openly a Catholic Christian, he is a self centered, narcissistic, humanist who walks according to the spirit of the age. The truth is Satan and his associates fight all out to make life as hard as possible for people like you and like me…period. The Enemy will not stop this because, think about it… this is his only purpose for his existence. The Enemy has an agenda, and people like you and me are living witnesses against him and the worldview he promotes. The Holy Apostle said (10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.) Eph Ch. 6. As you are finding out this war is real, it is taxing, it is spiritually exhausting, it is psychologically stressful, and it is often ugly. There is another way to look at it however, it works utterly and completely against us developing the spiritual disease of pride does it not? It for me is a big, heavy, ugly cross. This is when one thinks about it undoubtedly the Lord’s will for He call all of us to take up our crosses and follow him daily. I hope I don’t sound sanctimonious to you at this moment, because continual battle with the Enemy and his helpers can bring a man really low at times, what I want to communicate to you is you are not alone and if you ever need to talk, please email me with your phone number and I will reciprocate. Talking with a fellow warrior can do a lot of good and really edify one’s soul. “Iron sharpeneth iron.” philokalia7@hotmail.com