Climbing to the top of a mountain is hard. There is a lot of pain and struggle involved and with each step the temptation of giving up and going back down.
The peak seems so far away and impossible to reach. You may tell yourself that there is still so much pleasure and beauty at the bottom, looking at the peak in the distance. Yet, when you haven’t experienced the top how do you know what you have down here is better?
Deep down you desire to reach the top, and with one small step at a time, eventually you can accomplish what you thought impossible. You turn around and see how far you’ve come and realize the view truly does get better. You yearn to climb for more.
You reach the top. It takes your breath away. It is better than you ever dreamed and now you never want to descend.
Climbing a mountain is very similar to our spiritual ascent towards the peak of Christ. It’s not easy and we are tempted to stay where we are, thinking what we have is enough.
However, if we can persevere one step at a time, resisting temptation to give up, we will reach Christ, our peak, and never want to leave. We will have seen His glory and it will be nothing we’ve ever imagined.
“The higher we go, the better we shall hear the voice of Christ.”
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Yet, if it’s so hard to reach the peak, how do we persevere? Here are the four most important things that will help one to climb a mountain.
- Keep your eye on the peak/goal
- Do not climb alone, have others there to support, encourage, and help you
- Have proper equipment
- Remain humble
In order to not become wrapped up in our present struggles, we must continually remind ourselves of what we are climbing for. Or in life, WHO we are climbing for. If we keep our eyes uplifted to the prize, we will be motivated to keep climbing upward to reach it.
Secondly, it’s important to not climb alone. It’s hard to remain steadfast when you don’t have others to encourage and challenge you to keep climbing. That is why Jesus gave us a community of faith to turn to filled with the saints of Heaven and our brothers and sisters on earth. Jesus did not desire us to be alone. Even Jesus found friends and wants us to seek brothers and sisters who will lead us to Him.
As supplies and food are clearly important to reach the peak, likewise, our soul needs the nourishment of the sacraments to have the spiritual strength to reach Christ. Without prayer and the sacraments, our peak is practically impossible to reach.
Lastly, we need humility. Climbing a mountain takes a lot of pride out of a person because it reveals your limitations and struggles. Every sin is the sin of pride, thinking we know better than God. We think that staying at the base is good enough. Yet, every person can reach the peak. It may take some longer than others, but it’s truly the journey that shapes and changes us. It’s the journey that prepares us to meet Christ face-to-face. We must be willing to remove our pride and humbly accept our faults so that we are weak enough for Christ to wrap us in His arms of mercy and take us home.
Keep your eyes fixed on Christ. Gather strength and encouragement from the sacraments and others. Resist the sin of pride with the shield of humility.
With these you are ready to ascend the the heights. The mountains are calling. Christ is calling YOU. Climb to Him. He can hardly wait for you to reach peak!
“The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises toward the horizons.”
Pope St. John Paul II