It is surely unnecessary to prove, what experience constantly shows and what each individual feels in himself, even in the very midst of all temporal prosperity – that in God alone can the human will find absolute and perfect peace.
God is the only end of man. All our life on earth is the truthful and exact image of a pilgrimage.
Now Christ is the “Way”, for we can never reach God, the supreme and ultimate good, by this toilsome and doubtful road of mortal life, except with Christ as our leader and guide.
[...] Hence it will be understood that in the Christian religion the first and most necessary condition is docility to the precepts of Jesus Christ, absolute loyalty of will towards Him as Lord and King.
A serious duty, and one which oftentimes calls for strenuous labour, earnest endeavour, and perseverance!
For although by Our Redeemer’s grace human nature bath been regenerated, still there remains in each individual a certain debility and tendency to evil.
Various natural appetites attract man on one side and the other; the allurements of the material world impel his soul to follow after what is pleasant rather than the law of Christ.
Still we must strive our best and resist our natural inclinations with all our strength “unto the obedience of Christ”.
For unless they obey reason they become our masters, and carrying the whole man away from Christ, make him their slave.
“Men of corrupt mind, who have made shipwreck of the faith, cannot help being slaves. . . They are slaves to a threefold concupiscence: of will, of pride, or of outward show” (St. Augustine, De Vera Religione, 37).
In this contest every man must be prepared to undergo hardships and troubles for Christ’s sake. It is difficult to reject what so powerfully entices and delights.
[...] Moreover, to bear and to suffer is the ordinary condition of man. Man can no more create for himself a life free from suffering and filled with all happiness that he can abrogate the decrees of his Divine Maker, who has willed that the consequences of original sin should be perpetual.
It is reasonable, therefore, not to expect an end to troubles in this world, but rather to steel one’s soul to bear troubles, by which we are taught to look forward with certainty to supreme happiness.
Christ has not promised eternal bliss in heaven to riches, nor to a life of ease, to honours or to power, but to long-suffering and to tears, to the love of justice and to cleanness of heart.
Leo XIII (1810-1903): Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus 6.