What’s the point to all this suffering I endure, that any of us endure, especially on a daily basis? Do you ever ask yourself or ask others this question? I, like you, get frustrated at times, overwhelmed at times, angry at times, envious of others at times, and resentful at times. It’s human nature to break down at times. Life can at times be pretty overwhelming. I personally believe that that is alright. I often see others around this world suffering at a depth far greater than I. I see that I am not alone in this mystery. For those of us who are followers of Christ Jesus, we have been shown that what we are doing when we accept our suffering is called “carrying our cross”. He gives suffering a job description. Christ Jesus showed us how it’s done by carrying His own cross. One thing I did notice, Jesus never said we had to be crucified on that cross. He told us only to carry the cross. Some of course, have died carrying their cross. Why didn’t Christ help us with understanding this mystery of “carrying our cross” so it would be easier to accept it?St. Paul, as well, desired to be free from his cross, his affliction. In fact, he asked Jesus three separate times if he could be freed from his suffering, but Jesus told Paul “My grace is sufficient for you”. (2 Cor. 7-10) What does this, “My grace is sufficient for you” really mean? I know how this could be taken as Jesus brushing Paul off but it’s actually a pretty profound statement. Christ teaches St. Paul and us that suffering is inevitable, there is no getting around it because of humanity’s fall. However, from now on since the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus we won’t ever be alone with carrying our cross. My Holy Spirit, My grace will be with you. In the Greek language, the language the New Testament was originally written in, the word used for the Holy Spirit is Άγιο πνευμα which means breath or wind. Christ Jesus literally breathes within us, the grace the Holy Spirit flows through us, helps us up when we stumble, carries us when we are too weak to move forward on the journey. Our spirit, therefore, is in union with the Holy Spirit. The highest level of the spiritual journey according to the Mystical Doctors of the Church St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross is called the Mystical Union or the Mystical Marriage. How amazing is this. This is such a profound hope for us. The eternal Christ rose from the dead so we too will be eternal. The journey, our journey, must include this cross, the acceptance of our suffering, for it is the most profound command given to us being followers of Christ Jesus. With Christ, our suffering is transformed into healing for others and for our world, for ourselves. Christ even stated, “if you don’t carry your cross you cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27) So my sisters and brothers, remain strong with the suffering you endure each day. Carrying the cross has meaning and Heaven awaits us, peace in our heart will be with us knowing we’ve accepted His command. It is a command that will bring us into mystical union with the Divine. Have a most blessed day.
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
Hermits of the Holy Cross
5 thoughts on “Carrying Our Cross”
Wow! So powerful and inspiring. I couldn’t help but think of all the people who have committed suicide or are contemplating it. If somehow they could read this it may give them hope. You stated that picking up our cross is a command not a request. This shows us we cannot get around suffering in this world. To offer up our suffering for others healing …yes what great PURPOSE this gives our suffering. Thank you for offering your suffering everyday Brother Mark. You are truly an inspiration to us all!!
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In bringing forth the Truth of what is carried within, you witness to that reality for all of us. Thank you, Bro. Mark!
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This text has to be read and reread in silence … so as to let its inner meaning slowly sink in our mind. Thank you, Bro, for sharing this with us.
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The gospel for the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time is exactly this injunction. Catholics believe that through the very heart of the experience of suffering and the cross we are led into the Kingdom of God, for suffering cannot be transformed and changed from the outside, but only from within the very depths of a person through the Spirit. Thus, we believe that the way in which followers of Jesus pickup their cross and follow the Master is a matter of the heart, the interior spirit, and love.
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Thank you so much for your wonderful words of wisdom. Please keep us here at the Hermits of the Holy Cross in your powerful prayers.
Peace and Goodness, B. Mark