Anyone who says that cooperating with God to become holy isn’t hard is a liar. I’ll tell them that to their face. Looking at your crap and changing it out of love for God is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to cost us something, it cost God His son. Look at a crucifix and tell me that somehow we are supposed to get off easy. We aren’t. We make our choices, we choose our sins, we give in to them knowing that they are wrong and then we expect what? To give our lives to Christ and POOF, magic Jesus just fixes us? What would we learn from that? Nothing. The way that we learn is by facing our sins, ugly as they are and seeing what destruction they have caused and then ridding our lives of them. That is not easy, it is hard. Staying the same is easy. I’ll say it again, anyone who says that it is easy is a liar, Jesus didn’t call it dying to yourself for nothing.
One of the things Christ must have learned in the thirty yeas before his public ministry is that no amount of discussion or reasoning will convert the human heart. If you hunger and thirst for goodness, beauty, truth, you will fall upon the Gospels weeping with joy; if you don’t, you will steadfastly, insanely deny them, or worse, try to twist them to support your own ends, insisting that Love thine enemies means to kill them, and that Blessed are the poor means blessed are the prosperous. So again we return to the scandal of the Cross. Of praying in secret, of hungering and thirsting for justice, of quietly and mostly hiddenly consenting to the ongoing Crucifixion of trying to live out our smallest moments in love. Failing most of the time, of course, but still…
~ Heather King, Jesus Said So Little….
While he was in this affected state, something absolutely unheard-of occurred. The crucifix moved its lips and began to speak. “Francis,” it said, calling him by name, “go and repair my house, which, as you see, is completely destroyed.” Francis was stupefied and nearly deranged by this speech. He prepared to obey, surrendering himself completely to the project. But since he considered the change in him to be beyond description, it is best for us to be silent about what he himself could not describe. From then on compassion for the crucified one was imprinted in his holy soul and, one may devoutly suspect, the stigmata of the holy passion were deeply imprinted in his heart, though not yet in his flesh.
~Thomas of Celano, First and Second Lives of Saint Francis