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Saturday, 14 September 2013

What does it mean to carry a cross?

The big problem with the present generations is that they avoid suffering at all costs. Suffering has been seen as evil, rather than an opportunity for growth. We cannot escape suffering.

How do we accept suffering and what type of suffering should we accept?

The most obvious type of suffering is illness, which is usually totally out of our control. Illness must be endured, and perhaps, with the help of our physicians, overcome. But, not always.

We not must only accept our cross, but embrace it. What does this mean?

We usually know our cross, the main one. I do not need to make a long list. Maybe your parish is a cross, your diocese, your national church. The point is that God in His Perfect Will has placed each one of us in our situation. Yes, we have free will, but if we are in sanctifying grace and praying, if we are pursuing perfection and the love of God, we shall know our cross.

Today, at Mass, the priest communicated a great love of the cross in his life merely by showing his gratitude for the moment of salvation on Calvary. How wonderful it is to see that gratitude, that peace and joy even in suffering, which comes with the knowledge that God has died for each one of us.

The acceptance of our individual cross is part of the Dark Night. One begins to see that a person, the self, in sins and failings is the true, personal cross. Too often we look at circumstances and other people as crosses. No, how we react to those events or persons is our own lack of virtue; hence our cross is our own sins and imperfections. Truth is humility and in accepting our sins and imperfections we embrace our cross, in a pale imitation of Christ, But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.  Philippians 2:7 DR

And, what type of suffering should we accept? That which is obviously completely out of our control....

We do what we can to alleviate pain and suffering in the lives of others and our lives, but, if we cannot, we can only say, Thy Will Be Done.

Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. I have asked her to be my personal patron. Mary, Our Lady, accepted the Cross and went through the Passion with her Son. What better person is there to help us on our way?