The Hardness of the Way

Children, how hard is it!

— St. Mark 10:24

For the rich young man to have sold all and followed our Lord,” I tell the inquiring youth, “would have been to accept God’s patent of peerage: to you it is not offered. Were one of the disobedient, in the hope of the honor, to part with all he possessed, he would but be sent back to keep the commandments in the new and easier circumstances of his poverty. And does this comfort you? Then alas for you! Your relief is to know that the Lord has no need of you—does not require you to part with your money, does not offer you himself instead!”

 “But I do not trust in my riches,” this youth might reply. “I trust in the merits of my Lord and Savior. I trust in his finished work, in the sacrifice he has offered.”

“Yes!” I respond. “You will trust in anything but the Man himself who tells you it is hard to be saved! Not all the merits of God and his Christ can give you eternal life; only God and his Christ can; and they cannot, would not if they could, without your keeping the commandments. The knowledge of the living God is eternal life. What have you to do with his merits? You have to know his being, himself.”  

Many there are who think they can do without eternal life, if only they may live forever! Those who know what eternal life means count it the one terror to live on without it