Sooner or later a child realizes that life is tough. Some parents prepare their children for this realization by telling them this fact early in life; and then saying no to one of their requests just so they can learn to handle a “No!”.  More than ever this important lesson is becoming difficult to teach our children because instant gratification is the theme of most commercials. It takes great strength for a parent to continue to say “No” when a child is whining or making a scene in public. A parent’s self-esteem is tested when a teenager tells a parent that he hates him or her because they won’t cave into his irrational and dangerous request. It takes great humility on the part of parents to stand with a child in front of a police officer or a judge and find out that their child is a bully, a thief, or a drug addict, and to tell the child that he or she must accept responsibility for their actions. Every hour in the United States 13 people die from drug or alcohol addiction. Without self-discipline a person’s life can quickly become a nightmare.  
            “Nothing in life that is good and worthwhile comes without effort. We are born, all of us with a nature that is drawn to the easy rather than the hard. Surely you’ve noticed that no child ever has to be taught to be naughty; we’re all born knowing how. It’s easy for us. What’s hard is learning to be good. Knowing this about oneself and others softens the heart and builds iron into the will, keeps us going when all around us is crumbling, when friends forsake, when the heart breaks, and courage and confidence shatter. Knowing that such experiences are part of the deal gives us opportunities to choose to do hard things. Constant challenges make our journey exhilarating, wonderfully fulfilling, never, never boring. As the Arabs put it, “All sunshine makes a desert.” And here’s a small secret that most sad and lonely people never learn: Deep down inside we are all asking the same question. No matter who we are life is hard, and we all ask why it should be so.          
            But there is comfort in knowing we are not alone. So maybe your child or the person sitting over there needs to hear from you right this minute that sometimes you question, too, but that the One who knows us best and loves us most promises that for those who choose the hard way, the dawn gives way to morning splendor while the evil grope and stumble in the dark. Easy is its own reward. Hard is much, much finer.”
(Author Unknown)
            I have a sign in my room that says:
When Jesus told us that He would give us a peace the world cannot give, He didn’t mean that our life would be easy. Often the people who are closest to Jesus have far more problems that the people who are not close to Jesus.
            St. Paul gives us an insight into the kind of peace that Jesus gives. He writes: “Then the peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding will stand guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4:7)          
            As we grow in faith, we will also grow in the peace of Christ. Once this happens then we can be certain that nothing will separate us from the love of Christ.  
            God bless you and remember: TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD.