Jesus turned and addressed the crowds traveling with him, saying, "If anyone comes to me without hating ['without hating' -- read: 'preferring to me'] his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. ... Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. ... If you do not renounce all your possessions you cannot be my disciple."
Hard sayings. However, that doesn't make them untrue, or impossible. Jesus should not only comfort, but challenge us. To paraphrase a reflection by Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington, "Salvation is free. Discipleship costs."
Fr. Harry Hagan, the former novice master at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, oftens says something similar: "It's easy to be a Christian. It's hard to be one every day."
Hard truths are profoundly simple. But what we find difficult, God's wisdom places within our grasp. Then, we will have it all--the things of heaven.