How do today's Christians react when they read such Scripture as "take up your cross daily and follow me" or "we all have to experience many hardships before we enter the Kingdom" and similar passages? Most, I think, can relate because they do experience poverty, injustice, oppression, and persecution. What of the rich who live comfortable lives? What of those in rich, safe countries in the West? Can they relate at all? Do we turn to imagining our slight discomforts as suffering? Do we invent problems and crises for ourselves? I have and lapse into this from time to time.
I imagine that one of the reasons why life might be oddly too quiet, particularly for many Catholics in the West, is that we lost the urgency of evangelization as a shared mission, and the rigorous challenge of holy living, set apart from the rest of the world. If life is too easy and quiet, perhaps one has quit the field while the battle rages yet. Worse, if one cannot even see that there are battles to be fought out there, then one has sadly lost the plot.