So much today, in our culture we are told that any efforts we make are good enough for praise, especially when dealing with children. We are encouraged to teach them that if they just make an effort…even a halfhearted effort, one without a genuine struggle… it will be okay. We are supposed to assure them that mediocrity is an acceptable goal. And unless you are a paid athlete, or in competition sports, everyone gets praised…everyone gets a trophy. Even if we spend most of our time on the field pouting and whining…. We are risking our chance at heaven with this type of attitude. The harsh reality that we must face as Christians striving for the perfection of heaven…is that we need to do be…we need to be more and we need to expect more, not only from ourselves, but from our children as well. I’m not talking about unreasonable demands, either, I am just talking about expecting ourselves and our children to give back to God what He deserves… nothing more…nothing less.
Treating everyone with kid gloves is not doing anyone any favors, and for many parents, it has become normal to indulge this type of behavior. It has been drilled into our heads that we mustn’t hurt their self esteem, so much so, that we have fallen into the tendency of coddling those who don’t even try… we tend to make excuses for not aiming for something better… especially when it comes to our spiritual life or the spiritual lives of our family members, particularly those who are currently living in ‘acceptable states’ of sin. We say we don’t want to judge, but it what it really is, is a lack of effort on our part to help them change…. Because of our fallen nature and our propensity to laziness, we have allowed halfhearted efforts to become the norm.
We no longer think about pleasing the Lord, and this is precisely where the problem lies, we are allowing ourselves to be lied to… and we are lying to our children as well. Telling them that somehow it is okay to not live up to God’s expectations… His created perfection within each of us. This is a farce created by the devil to keep us mediocre… to keep our children mediocre…. especially when it comes to serving God, and living out His Will for us, whatever the cost.
As Catholics…who are members of the Holy Mother Church…we are the Body of Christ. We have an obligation to God. We have to strive to be perfect…. not ‘eyes of the world’ perfect…but ‘eyes of God’ perfect.... We cannot settle for half way. We have to make our way out of the patches of gray that creep around our souls… telling us that it is okay to strive only halfway. We mustn’t listen to the lies of the evil one, especially those disguised as words that tell us our own mediocrity is fine… those lies that us that we have done enough... As Christians, we know what God wants…And if we honestly don’t know, well then, we have to pray and develop a heart that longs for God and cares not, for the praises of this fleeting world.
We have to stop allowing ourselves and our children to be manipulated by the sin of being lukewarm in our love for God. We need to have courage to become more like the saints who gave up the things of the world to seek out the Lord…to serve the Lord in the best way they knew how… we need to learn to suffer and embrace whatever cross may be resting upon our shoulders, with the confidence of God’s promise, we must embrace it, without defeat. We must be strong and courageous… even when it seems like an impossibility. And for this we must pray that God will give us His mercy and His grace so that we may have the strength to carry this cross and not let it beat us into settling for living just so-so. We must not give up or give in to the temptations that whisper, that we fine just how we are… Or the whispers that tell us the only God we need to serve is us…We have to do more… we have to be more… by being all that we were meant to be…. and for that my friends, we need the Lord. Let us pray…
Dear Lord, Thank you for all You have given me throughout my days. Help me to understand Your Will for me in each of my day to day tasks, be with me that I may never fall into the occasion of slothfulness, or into the ‘sin’ of being satisfied with a job only half way done. Be with me each moment and give me the strength to do Your works with a charitable heart full of love and determination to do whatever lies ahead, and to do it well, not for me, but for Your Glory, Lord. And when I fail, please Dear Lord, pick me up and help me to continue on my daily path so that at the end of my life I will know that I did not slack in my service for You, and that I did not allow my disposition of falling into sin, lead me in a life of mediocrity towards You. Amen.