I'm putting the finishing touches to my saints' book manuscript. Writing always makes me want to write more, and the subject matter is of such interest to me, that it's hard not to fire off blog posts while I'm doing it. (I understand why music groups write more songs than they can use when they are recording an album, and can then go months and years without writing much else.)
So many things inspire me about the saints, but the the thing that I find most inspiring about them is the whole concept of "the narrow gate". It's amazing to think that St. Patrick, St. Gemma Galgani, and Blessed John Henry Newman-- to take three saints almost at random-- were, in their very disparate situations and styles, aspiring and attaining the very same thing-- to follow the very specific teachings of Our Lord (which are themselves very different from "natural religion" or "universal wisdom", etc.)
Though it may seem an undignified comparison, it reminds me of the pleasure you feel when you realise that a particular software is compatible with a particular hardware. The saints were so, so different...and yet, all of them passed through this narrow gate.
Well, I don't have time to expand on this...but the point is that, in the past, whenever I heard the words "narrow is the gate", I presumed it was meant to be a foreboding. But, pondering the lives of the saints, sometimes it seems as much something to rejoice over, as to sober us.