“No pain, no gain” ……” pressure makes diamonds” ….” a rubber band doesn’t do its job unless it’s stretched” ….

You’ve heard all of these and more, pointing to the inevitable reality that growth is a process that requires effort, tension, and sometimes pain.

Inert objects do not grow.  A rock is a rock is a rock.  Living, breathing organisms must by their very nature choose growth, or they wither and die.  We do not necessarily choose the challenges that confront us, but we can choose to grow through the challenges, and allow them to create a better version of ourselves in the process.

In the spring, crocuses and daffodils defy the odds and push through defrosting earth to announce the life that was dormant in winter.  It takes effort, but the benefits are life giving and beautiful.

So it is with us.  No one wants hardship, struggle, or pain, but as we look back on our lives, we can see that some of our most difficult moments, over time, became transformed, and changed us into the persons we are today. Challenging, to be sure, but if we allow Our Lord to work in and through us, to transform us, we grow and bear much fruit.