Today's first reading in The Liturgy of the Hours was from the book of Sirach and these two lines struck me.
"Call no man happy before his death,
for by how he ends, a man is known."
We judge success so differently from how God judges it. Our culture sees success today as having just two children, preferably a boy and a girl, a comfortable home, a good job, lots of vacations, and all the comforts that life offers. We have lost the sacrificial lifestyle that brings us out of our selfish natures and into a willingness to give up our attachments. Jesus told us that we must take up our cross and follow him. How many today are willing to do this? It's a cross for a young couple to not use contraception, but rather to learn natural ways to avoid pregnancy and yet be willing to accept another child if this does not work. It's a cross to buy only what one can afford and not extend the debt because of one's desires and wants. It's much harder to pay only for what one needs and to know what that is. To carry the cross is hard, but we never have to do it alone. God is always with us. He proved his love by sending his only son to die for us. What greater love is there? He also gave us a special gift in his mother Mary who teaches us "To do whatever he tells you." Mary models for us how we should and can seek God's will in our daily lives. We must become prayer warriors for without prayer we are weak and easily influenced by the lies of the evil one. It is only through a deep and committed prayer life that we come to know the truth and it is through the truth that we shall find eternity. God is pure love and he is always seeking us, but we must be willing to open ourselves to receive this love. We must seek him as well! God bless!