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The Narrow Gate - The Narrow Gate, Page 2
Sunday, January 29 2012
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The Narrow Gate
The Narrow Gate, Page 2
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We may not have thought so at the time, but we were lucky to have a priest who was not afraid to tell it like it is from the pulpit.  He was not afraid to call a sinner a sinner, but he never pointed anyone out.  A few times, he mentioned the topic of "living in sin," and we could not help but feel convicted by it.  At home, things were not exactly going so well.  When you pretend to be married even though you are not, you are building your home like a house of cards, and it will eventually come crumbling down.

We fought; I moved out.  Luckily, God has a way of turning bad situations into good.  The situation was not ideal, but as we repaired our relationship, it gave us the chance to take a new direction.  We decided to continue dating, but we also decided that we should not live in sin anymore.  After living together for well over a year, some would say we were taking a step backwards in our relationship, but I say that was the largest step forward that we ever took.

We were living apart, I was still waiting on my annulment, and life was full of obstacles.  Meanwhile, our faith, and our relationship, seemed to be growing stronger every day.  Although we were making great progress, we faced some pretty tough challenges.  Returning to the chaste life is not exactly an easy thing to do, and we did not always get the most support.  Some of the people closest to us thought that we were completely crazy.  Many questioned how much we really loved each other if we were taking these steps "backwards."

The annulment was an issue of itself.  It can be a long, drawn out process, and it was the cause of many fights between us.  Yet, we were willing to go along with the process.  If for some reason the annulment did not go through, we decided that we would end our relationship together.  We would not put each other in a perpetual state of sin.  Again, some of the people closest to us were convinced that we had lost our mind, but we trusted the Church.  We put our fate in God's hands and decided to let Him sort it out.  This fell on anything but rave reviews.

My family must think that I am a religious zealot, and I don't know if I can ever regain the trust of my future in-laws.  Regardless of what happens, I know that I did the right thing for my future wife.  I know that I followed the path that God would want me to follow.  At the most pivotal point of our relationship, I stood up and made the unpopular choices.  There will always be those who question why I did what I did, but it was always out of the greatest respect and love for God, and for my future wife.

The gate is narrow, and few will enter it.  Society will point you to the wide gate.  Society will tell us what a good idea it is to live together first.  Stop listening to society!  When you face the final judgment, society will not be standing by your side.  You alone will be accountable for your actions.  You may not win a popularity contest for your choices, but that does not make them the wrong choices.  Let the Holy Spirit guide your decisions and help you find your way through the narrow gate.

Finally, just one more thing before I wrap up the longest Daily Verse that I have written (by far).  I come to you today with this message not to brag.  You may love me for it; you might think I'm nuts.  Either way, I wanted to give witness to the awesome power of Christ in our lives.  We appeared to be good Catholics.  People respected us for our faith.  Meanwhile, we were not living up to it, but it was not too late.  We turned around our lives, and so can you.  We started down the wrong path, but it was not too late.

Completely changing the direction of our lives was anything but easy.  Family and friends criticized us.  The temptations were almost unbearable at times.  When it seemed like life could not get any harder, it did anyway.  It never stopped us, and do not let it stop you.  When you turn your life around, you will face obstacles.  We found that the more obstacles we faced, the more we must be going the right direction.  So, what do you need to change?  Are you on the wrong path?  Is there something you need to turn around?  Do it.  It will be tough.  You will want to quit.  But, if you make it through to the end, you'll find that you made the best choice you've ever made.  I know I did.


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