A priest was at his brother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. After dinner, his nephew, who was a junior in college, suggested that the two of them take a walk before dessert so that they could stretch their legs and catch up on things.
During the walk the young man started raising his concerns over how crazy everything was getting and that there was still a whole year till the 2020 election. This lead him to start talking about the overall craziness in the world. He then started to share with his uncle his own personal struggles as a college student—-how difficult it is to say you’re a Catholic, and how hard it can be to stay on the right path and avoid all those things that the Church says are wrong.
After listening to his nephew, and not saying too much at first, the priest offered this advice. It basically came down to these four points:
The first thing: In this life you can expect disappointments, failures, setbacks and suffering. This doesn’t mean that life will always be painful, but you have to remember that this is life here on earth. We are not in heaven yet! And this world is an imperfect place. But when things happen, don’t fall apart. Something good will come from them, so just be patient and do your best to persevere.
The second thing the priest said to his nephew is this: You will experience a powerful temptation to escape the pain life can inflict on you. This “trying to escape” will take the form of drugs, drinking, sexual misbehavior, greed, anger, pride, or even an addiction to work. These temptations also are a part of life. But if you give in to them, one day you will come to realize that they are lethal, and can, over time, lead you to despair, or worse.
Third: Don’t allow yourself to become “lazy”. Don’t give in to boredom. It can lead to all the things I just mentioned. Also, don’t become complacent and allow yourself to fall into things haphazardly. So many people who we think are popular and “have their act together” can convince you to do things that you know are wrong. So, be prepared for peer pressure, and remember that God is always present to you, so pray everyday.
Prayer does something for you. It gives you perspective. And you will eventually learn to wait on God (which is something people don’t like to do). You learn to trust God, to have confidence in what God is capable of, to hope.
God will help you!
When you die, it will be much better if Christ meets you and you are his friend because you pray to Him and have a relationship with Him.
And the fourth bit of advice was: Evil and sin will not have the last word. There comes a time when God will say, “That’s enough.” So, if by chance you meet someone who is in that sad condition of being caught up in sin and evil, tell them about God and the Church and how you have been helped.
Be vigilant, be prepared. Don’t give in to the temptations that come your way by trying to run away. And most important of all—-PRAY!
Good advice, I would say. These were the kinds of things that John the Baptist was trying to say to the people of his time when he uses the words: “Repent, for the Kingdom Heaven is at hand.”