Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

Let Us Carry Our Crosses Courageously and Not Shrink Back from Them

And here it ought to be pointed out why so few reach this high state of perfect union with God.  It should be known that the reason is not that God wishes only a few of these spirits to be so elevated; He would rather want all to be perfect, but He finds few vessels that will endure so lofty and sublime a work. Since He tries them in little things and finds them so weak that they immediately flee from work, unwilling to be subject to the least discomfort and mortification, it follows that not finding them strong and faithful in that little [Mt. 25:21, 23], in which He favored them by beginning to hew and polish them, He realizes that they will be much less strong in these greater trials.  As a result, He proceeds no further in purifying them and raising them from the dust of the earth through the toil of mortification.  They are in need of greater constancy and fortitude than they showed.

There are many who desire to advance and persistently beseech God to bring them to this state of perfection.  Yet when God wills to conduct them through the initial trials and mortifications, as is necessary, they are unwilling to suffer them and they shun them, flee from the narrow road of life [Mt. 7:14] and seek the broad road of their own consolation, which is that of their own perdition [Mt. 7:13]; thus, they do not allow God to begin to grant their petition.

St. John of the Cross, Mystical Doctor of the Church, Living Flame of Love, Stanza 2, #27 (emphasis and bracketed words added).