“A fault this body has is that the more comfort we try to give it, the more needs it discovers.” ~ St. Teresa of Avila
If Jesus wanted comfort, He certainly would not have chosen the path of the cross. We know that He struggled with that ultimate reality in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked His Father that He not have to bear so great a burden. However, Jesus accepted the will of His Father and chose the cross.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus was consistently clear when He stated that we must take up our own crosses and follow after Him if we were to be His disciples. He challenged us to eschew comfort, glory, power, or anything else that the world had to offer and, rather, embrace the will of His Heavenly Father.
Teresa of Avila had a keen sense of understanding that comfort not only cannot be fully satisfied, it consistently craves more. This was an understanding that she had not only of personal, physical comfort but of spiritual comfort as well. Her religious order had slipped into a spiritual comfortableness, so to speak, and, in the process, became very lax. Living the rule became less and less of a priority.
Teresa, with the help of St. John of the Cross, reformed her order. Many within the order resisted the change that she was encouraging because they had come to be too comfortable. Teresa was an unstoppable force and became a great witness for the cross, for devotion, and for the spiritual path to holiness. In 1970, she was named a Doctor of the Church for her great faith, courage, and example.
Our human nature encourages us to choose the easy way. In doing so, we might miss the path to the Kingdom. Jesus encourages us, still to this day, to take up our crosses and follow after Jesus. The way may not be easy but it will help to keep the path to the Kingdom in sight. Hold firm this day.
FAITH ACTION: Look not for the most comfort but for the best way to be the Lord’s witness today.