Today was the ninth day of my "Joy in Suffering" novena to St. Therese, which I prayed in the silence of the church before Mass began. I came across a passage that helped me understand the divide between people like me and Saints like St. Therese. The Little Flower wished to see Heaven, yes, but her more immediate burning desire was to see that God is loved. It was not enough for her to see God face to face. She could only be satisfied by working tirelessly to make others love Him. It is because she loved Him so much that she loves us as she does.
Why do I wish to save souls? I don't want to see anyone fall into Hell. Perhaps there is an ulterior motive that the more people I help save, the more I help my own cause in getting to Heaven. If so, it's a weakness and a short-coming that I must work to overcome.
The other day, I had a minor disagreement with my mother over the phone, so after work on Friday, I paid her a surprise visit. My sister's black labs were there with her, and whenever they see me, they start begging for treats. They inadvertently bite your hand when they take the treat, so I toss it to them to catch. The result is that one of them shoved the other out of the way and gobbled up both treats. Katie didn't get one, so my mother chastised me for not directly handing it to her and showed me that while the dog would grab it with her teeth, it's not enough to hurt anyone. My mother is selfless that way. I wasn't willing to risk the discomfort of having those canines sink into my hand to even the slightest extent, even if it would be accidental.
I have been complaining a lot about my life lately, even if I do so with humor. That's certainly not what Jesus had in mind when He asked me to carry my cross. There are times, I am ashamed to say, when I plead with Him to take me home sooner rather than later. No one will be called before their time, and for me, that is a good thing, because I have a very long way to go to understand what it means to surrender one's life to Christ, and I have an even longer way to go in being able to love Him as St. Therese loves Him.