Sometime ago I put up the following quote on Facebook:
“Be one of the small number who find the way to life, and enter by the narrow gate into Heaven. Take care not to follow the majority and the common herd, so many of whom are lost. Do not be deceived; there are only two roads: one that leads to life and is narrow; the other that leads to death and is wide. There is no middle way.”— St. Louis de Montfort
Shortly after I put up the post, I receive a negative comment. This negative comment led another comment that accused me of having a very narrow view of God’s love. I have no idea why my post would inspire such a comment other than what I have come to discover, any reference to any accountability for anyone’s lifestyle, makes one somehow not as “free” or “space saving” or as understanding of God’s love as one should be.
I do believe in that God is love. I believe God loves every human being and offers every human being the opportunity for grace, acceptance, and love. I also believe love (by its very nature and definition) must be a freely chosen relationship. Love can exist and not be reciprocated. Love takes a risk of rejection. Love is willing to endure even heartbreak.
Then there is the issue of the very words of Christ: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt. 7:13-14 NRS)
Is this passage to be trusted? As a spiritual director I have found that, first, discernment is an absolute need in experiencing love and not an imitation of love. Second, authenticity, can what you believe be trusted? How trusting are you of your spiritual supports? This leads to the third crucial element, trust.
Yes, it is a universal truth that human beings make decisions. It is also true that some human choices lead to an outcome of destruction. It is also true that percent of the people who populate this planet make choices taking advantage of situation of birth/race/class and then jump on the easy way through selfish choices that bring benefits to themselves letting the rest of the world fight over what remains.
Yes, there is a wide easy road (the easy part is a deception) we can jump on with the majority of the world. It would be hard to argue against this.
What amazes me is what is said about the road that leads to life. It is the non-patronizing, none-to-subtle warning, and discerningly approving call to a hard road to life that rings of truth. This I can trust. The fits into orthodox apostolic teaching. This fits with the realities of everyday life. And, for me, this fits with my own personal experience.
While it is a sad reality which God shall endure with us, there is a future reality of separation. Call it hell, Gehenna, or whatever you wish. It does exist. Only those who chose that path will, because of what love is, be allowed their choice to be honored.
Better is what deep down, all human beings at some time in their life, have a feeling of what love is, a feeling of a desire for truth, and a draw on their hearts from God. God wishes that none should perish but have everlasting (sentient, present, beyond time) life.
Oh, yes, this I do believe.