“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14)
If life is a portal to paradise, then how we get there should be everyone’s concern. Our Christian call is to know, love, and serve God in this world that we may be happy with him in heaven. In our day-to-day lives, this means finding and keeping to the narrow way that Jesus describes as the path to heaven.
Fortunately, we have a vast collection of Christian classics to help us on our way, and one of the greatest is Saint Benedict’s Rule. In Enter the Narrow Gate: Saint Benedict’s Steps to Christian Maturity, Susan Muto draws from Saint Benedict’s twelve steps to humility, showing how these steps give us a road map to the narrow way. Rooted in timeless spiritual principles, this book offers guidance and encouragement to find and stay on the narrow path, no matter how attractive the easy road may seem.
The choices we make each day have eternal ramifications, and there can be no compromise between the narrow way and the easy road. Ultimately, each of us must face — and answer — this all-important question: Are we willing to enter through the narrow gate and follow the narrow way all the way to heaven?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan Muto, Ph.D., is executive director of the Epiphany Association and dean of the Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality. She holds a doctorate in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Muto has been teaching the literature of ancient, medieval, and modern spirituality for over forty years. She has written more than thirty books, and in 2014 she received the Aggiornamento Award presented by the Catholic Library Association in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the ministry of renewal modeled by Pope St. John XXIII.
The word conversion is often associated with a one-time event, such as the call of Saint Matthew. But even for Matthew, that call was only the beginning, the moment when he started following Jesus. For Matthew, as for all the saints, his conversion lasted a lifetime. Real conversion — repentance and turning toward God — is a process that happens daily. It is our continual "yes" to the Lord and the grace he offers us. Perfect for individual or group study, each chapter includes reflection questions.
The question "Who am I?" is on the minds and hearts of people of all ages. And for good reason: The answer is important! Who we are - or who we think we are - drives our actions and shapes our relationships. Only when we understand who Christ really is can he show us who we are. Our identity in Christ opens us to the promises he has made us and leads us to the freedom to be who we were created to be.
Fr. Richards will challenge you to let go of attachments, assumptions, and excuses that hold you back and give yourself more fully to God.