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Stefanie MacWilliams @StefMacWilliams
, 13 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
A good friend once told me, “Carry your cross, Catholic girl”. Tonight, especially tonight, I know it’s exactly what I have to do.

Becoming Catholic is not like anything else I’ve ever done. It’s not shallow, it’s not half-measures.

#Catholic
It’s radical to say “I have been called to suffer. I have been called to sacrifice. I have been called to take up my cross.”

To the world, it’s the deluded adherence to some sort of invisible sky fairy, to the detriment of my own “reasonable” desires.
I understand why one might take that position. I always have, to varying degrees. “Why be extreme in following God? He loves you, you say, so are you then afraid of going to hell?”
I commit my sacrifice and suffering to God not out of fear. I commit my sacrifice and suffering to God out of love.
I thought I knew love. We all know the usual Biblical meanings of love, that have ironically become almost secular in usage: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” and the rest of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
But dare I add that the theme throughout this verse is the theme laid out by Christ. Love is suffering. Love is sacrifice. Love is pain.
Love is paradox.

Love is a man who was cursed, because he hung from a tree.

Love is dying so that your friends may live.
To die is not always to die physically, of course. To die can be to die to self. To die can be to give up what you want, in order to truly be able to see what God wants.
For me, God gave me no easy cross. For me, I am to do the one thing I am the worst at in this world: to be patient. To suffer the temporary. To suffer the uncertain. To suffer the undecided.
And yet, God gave me the tools to bear that cross.

God made me stubborn. God made me determined. And in the internal struggle between my impatience and my stubbornness?

Well, stubbornness has to win. If not, how else could I keep saying I’m stubborn? ;)
My stubborn heart kept me from God, now my stubborn heart keeps me from straying from God.

Paradoxes are a beautiful thing.
Paradoxes place us right where love and fear nearly touch - only to remind us that perfect love casts out fear.

Our human minds see paradoxes, and we can describe them as such, but God guards the space where the paradoxes can’t quite stand. Where two opposites cannot hold fast.
This may not make a lot of sense to anyone else, and I don’t expect it to, but just know that I can’t go back to who I used to be, for God has changed me. And yet, in so many other ways, I haven’t changed at all. Paradox.

I suffer the same. But now I know suffering to be love.
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