Friends, I’m here today to pitch to you the greatest truth I know, that all we endure can be endured if we embrace the cross.

That’s right — I’m preaching the Gospel of Truth which is as hard as nails and redemptive as the Crucifixion. Yes, coming into the Catholic Church will involve time, effort, study and preparation for receiving the sacraments. But they will offer you access to the sacraments and abundant grace, with the support system of the saints, the teachings of the catechism, prayers, sacramentals and the community of your fellow sufferers here on Earth.

We will not promise instant healing, but deeper healing nonetheless. We will not promise a friction-free life, but genuine friendships. We will not promise riches and popularity, fame or glory here — only a share in the inheritance of Our Father’s love, both now and in the life to come. We will not promise you endless food and drink, but opportunities to feast upon the infinite bread of Heaven, Jesus Christ.

We do not have a twelve- or eight- or seven-step program. We have the apostles, the commandments, the Beatitudes and the sacraments. We do fasts and feasts. We rejoice in the Resurrected God, we live out our lives on the road to Calvary.

Join and expect to receive the full gifts of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, prepare to be challenged, pushed, pulled, ignored, ostracized and possibly persecuted even unto death. Our Lord has told us no less.

Yes, join because we have not the Gospel of Prosperity, but because we hold the Gospel of Perfect Love, and of God’s perpetual promise, He is with us. He wants us home, and He will heal all of us who do not merely say “Lord, Lord,” but love him with all the fullness of our hearts. Fullness of heart comes most easily with less in all other things, which is why in the fullness of time, the Catholic must come to see the cross and his or her crucifixion in life (of ego, of appetite, of all desires outside of Christ), as a great mysterious grace.

Come join the Church and pray to be made strong in faith, like a rock, so that all the winds and rains and tremors of the world cannot shake you. The grace is there for the asking, every time we ask, every time we take on this gift.

So today, join — and if you are already a member, enter deeper in.