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Life is hard sometimes.  Life isn’t fair.  There are countless ways to say it, to frame it, but in the end, we all know it.  We work hard, for what?  We toil, for what?  What or who are we truly living for?

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10  (+):

Nowhere does the Bible say we won’t have trials or tribulations.  God doesn’t claim we’ll never suffer.  The problem with pain is that we cry out for relief, but it may never come.  Or if it does, it comes in an unexpected way or in a way we weren’t looking for and, therefore, didn’t see.

Just because there’s pain in life, should I give up?  Should I throw in the towel when things get too difficult or when someone says, “You’re not enough”?  How do I define myself?

"It is by battles agsinst hell and by resistance to temptations that we give God proofs of our love." - St. John Vianney:

How can I grow, if I don’t struggle?  If I merely float through life without hardship, it might be great, but I wouldn’t feel the highs that accompany the lows.  I wouldn’t have deep roots.  It might sound like my life would be better without pain, but pain is just a gauge to indicate something is wrong.

This world isn’t perfect, therefore, something will always be wrong in it.  Without sensing the wrong, we can’t strive to fix it.  Without feeling the lows, how are we to know the highs.  The joys in life are much sweeter after we know a period of sadness.

When we read a book, do we want the hero to succeed right away?  Doesn’t that seem too far-fetched?  Too easy?  When the hero struggles and falls, when he triumphs near the edge of despair, we cheer.  Without the struggle, the journey is just a straight line, no deep valleys or lofty peaks.

Life without struggle would be nice.  To have all my burdens lifted and my cares relieved.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the world I live in, yet.

Remembering inspiring quotes from St. Catherine of Siena on her feast day April 29 (Image via Lawrence OP, Flickr):

We fight for what we desire.  Our passions set us on fire.  When I strive and yearn for something, if someone tells me I can’t, I remind myself I can.  No matter how many times you get knocked down, pick yourself up and continue.  No one can make you quit.  Only you know your limits, only you know the strength and courage within your soul.

Keep pushing.  Keep working.  Keep the faith.