Who needs to carry a cross?
"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." -Mathews 16:24
In Sunday's (August 31) Gospel, carrying our cross is a prerequisite to being a follower of Christ. He said it in His own words. And though I believe that Jesus also rejoiced, carrying our own cross is an integral part of being that follower.
Rather then follow the "Jesus just wants to make you happy and comfortable" mantra of some, Mother Angelica has a better understanding of suffering than anyone I know:
God can use suffering to prevent us from committing sin, from making errors in judgment, from becoming worldly or proud. He at times will bless us with disappointment and frustration to direct us toward His Path. This suffering prevents us from making the wrong choices and keeps us away from danger and evil, though we are often unaware of it as it is happening.
When a person violates the law of God, the Commandments for instance, untold suffering follows. We cannot blame this suffering on God. It is the inevitable result of disobedience. Still, God loves us, and His love brings good out of every mistake we make. The suffering incurred by disobedience can be used to purify the very weakness that produced it. He uses the suffering to correct us and to return us to His ways.
The suffering heart, broken over its infidelities, broken out of love for so great and good a God, is a sacrifice that rises to heaven and is accepted by God more than many good works.
Repentant suffering cleanses our souls, brings down upon us the compassion of God, and enables us to begin anew.
All the above quotes are from Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality.
Who needs to carry a cross? We all do. For those of us who appear to have a lighter burden then others, our prayers are lifted up for others to lighten their load.
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