Enter through the narrow gate.

That narrow gate! It’s tighter than the gap between the do’s and don’ts of the Ten Commandments. So you don’t lie, injure, or kill—and you also have to forgive a person who has hurt you. You steer clear of coveting, cheating, and stealing—but you still have to give financially, even though money is tight. Now that’s a constricted road! And what about encouraging someone when you’re feeling worn-out yourself? Sometimes, you just take a deep breath, turn sideways, and hope you can squeeze through the gate.

Actually, no one passes through this gate alone. So don’t ever think you have to walk that constricted road unaccompanied. The Holy Spirit living in you ushers you through. He provides you with the wisdom, understanding, patience, and fortitude that you need. He will show you where the gate is for you: whether it’s forgiveness, generosity, sharing more of your time, or countless other ways that you may feel constrained. He will help you through it, even when it seems a tight squeeze.

One word of caution: the Holy Spirit is no magician who waves a wand and gets you through the gate automatically. Neither does the Spirit instantaneously infuse you with all the wisdom, knowledge, and willingness you need to navigate the narrow passages of life. No, he wants to form your mind as you ponder the word of God and the teachings of the Church. He wants to soften your heart as you sit with him in prayer and worship him in the sacraments. He wants to teach you how to hear him, through thoughts or ideas he plants in your mind or through the word and examples of trusted friends. He wants to show you the way of humble obedience—the way through the narrow gate!

If there are times when the way seems too hard and the gate too narrow, remember this: God wants you to make it through! There may be scrapes and bruises along the way. But Jesus became a man. He healed and delivered and fed all those who came to him so that they might enter into life. Let him do the same for you. Let his Spirit help you.

“Lord, I want to enter into life. Help me to seek you and trust you as I travel the road.”

Genesis 13:2, 5-18
Psalm 15:2-5
Matthew 7:6,12-14


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