Bonjour from Paris!
Ive been here a couple days & this city truly is magic..and in ways I wasn't expecting. We haven't seen a whole lot of the classic tourist spots yet, but the Eiffel Tower has been properly greeted & a few croissants have been devoured so I'd say we are off to a good start!
Ruth and I have been on a fairly busy, go-go-go schedule since Saturday. The days are full & lovely, I'm so grateful for the oppertunity to be here.
Before my trip--and even a few days into it, I recognized this as being a time that I could really grow in my faith. Without having the distractions & stresses of normal life, I thought it was inevitable. Ha. No.
While Denmark & Paris (I stepped in Iceland & Sweden too!! Wee!!) have been the tops; all the sights & sounds, croissants & men dressed impeccably (I mean, really...) are a lot to take in. It's all very distracting.
Between Ruth & I, there are usually several conversations about God & the ways He works in our lives throughout the day. This is all fine and good. It's just that talking isn't nearly enough. At the surface, it feels like I'm all God-loving and stuff as I talk about Him, but in reality, I'm not making any sacrifices for Christ. And if love is a sacrifice, then what I'm feeling isn't love.
Loving Christ has to be something more than what we celebrate for an hour on Sundays and the subject of conversation from time to time. Regardless of where you are in life and how good or bad things are going, we all have distractions. Things placed in our enviroments forcing us to choose between the wonders of the world or the delights of Heaven. Juggling both isn't possible, so we're forced to choose.
Being here has made me realize how truly weak my faith is, how feeble-minded I am. Isn't it great how God sends us humility even when we don't ask for it? I mean, it's annoying, because humility has to be one of the hardest virtues out there & I'd rather work on increasing more sunshine-y aspects in my life...like posting Saint quotes on Instagram alongside irrelevant photographs, but whatever. When God sends you humiliations, what more can you do than roll your eyes and accept them?
So that's where I am. Here in one of the coolest cities on earth, two blocks from the Eiffel Tower & about a twenty-second walk from the nearest patisserie, and I'm having to choose between the world & Christ.
The right choice is obvious--It's just putting that decision into action can be difficult. That's where the sacrifice lays. It is in that deliberate choice that true love lays.
My prayers are with each of you. God bless.
"There is no place for selfishness—and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice" -JPII