It is road construction season here in Michigan, as I imagine it is in other places across the nation. Orange barrels, long waits in traffic, merging four lanes into two lanes: it is aggravating and time-consuming.
Scripture tells us about the narrow gate: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." (Mt. 7:13-14)
While Jesus' disciples knew nothing about modern road construction, Jesus clearly knew about traveling a hard road. He wanted his followers to know that the road to salvation was not an easy one. "Constricted" is the word used here, but this isn't to imply our freedom is lessened. Our freedom to choose remains intact; it is simply that the best way, the narrow way, is most difficult.
It is like the road construction I mentioned: in the end, we know that it will be worth it, but in the midst of the orange barrels and long lines of cars, one rarely ponders the outcome, only the present conditions. I like to think that the Acton Institute is on the road that leads to the narrow gate. We know that there is much work to be done in order to help "construct" a culture of dignity and value. It can be difficult work, but our staff and supporters are assured that it is a path that leads to life: flourishing with human creativity, enriched by liberty and ultimately, communion with God.
It may seem that our society is being torn apart – orange barrels, if you will, along pathways torn asunder. Yet, I see the work of the Acton Institute as the work of that construction, a construction towards the narrow gate, surely, but building something good and virtuous that leads to life. Thank you for your continued support in our mission for a free and virtuous society.
Rev. Robert Sirico, President