Monday, April 2, 2012

Your Cross

Here is a quote from St. Francis de Sales that I really like:

Your Cross

The everlasting God has, in His wisdom, foreseen from eternity the cross He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. The cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with His loving arms, and weighed with His own hands, to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you.
He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.

I have mentioned this quote before, but I have been thinking about it again. The cross is not beautiful and it is not glamourous, as we would expect a blessing to be.  It is not fair, anymore than it was fair that Jesus be condemned to death.

It is not easy to accept, the weight and the pain can mask the worth.

I can't carry it wonderfully, I will fall a lot, probably even more than the three times He fell.  Those falls are hard and so difficult to get up from.

I hate how my cross affects others, how it means that my parents are not yet grandparents, how my mom has to watch me carry a cross that she can't help me fix. But He knew that part, too, when He allowed it to happen this way.

I never knew how hard it would be, and I also never knew how much the help would mean to me.  I am so glad that having to carry my cross doesn't mean that I have to carry it alone.

I only wish that fewer of my falls were because the weight of my sin.

I didn't know either, how much it would strip away to have to carry a cross for so long. 

 I didn't think about how it would be to have to die to myself.  I guess I thought for some reason that carrying a cross eventually meant getting what you wanted.  You know, "when the time is right". I think that not all crosses last throughout life, but each of the crosses that we have lead eventually to death.  I don't know why I was so blind to that.

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? I don't know why I didn't realize that embracing the cross would lead to that moment of being left behind even by God.  But even Jesus felt that way.  Why wouldn't I?

I know now (as I should have realized before), carrying a cross is a hard, lonely, bloody road.  It will make you fall, whether through emotions you can't shake, or sins you commit in the midst of weakness. It leads to death.

The blessing, and the unbelievable gift is that death. It is the death of ourselves so that we may have new life in Him.

This Holy Week, realize that whatever cross you carry will be hard, it will be heavy, it will be impossible for you to get through it on your own. When God says He won't give you more than you can handle, it doesn't mean that you won't fall (because you will, multiple times). It means that He will help you back up afterwards and get you to the end.  The end may see you stripped of so many things that you held dear, it may see you pierced by pain you never could have imagined. If you accept your cross, it will end in death.

But the messiness, the pain, the desolation, the falling are also triumphant.  He walked the Way first.  If we truly follow Him, we will not only join Him in death to ourselves, but also in new life with Him.

May you all have a very blessed holy week!


  1. Thank you for sharing. This is so helpful to me at this time in so many ways. By writing this you are helping me to carry my cross. You will be in my prayers, friend.

  2. Wow! That was amazing! You have such a great way with words. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I can reread this so many times this week and gain something new out of it each time. Beautiful thoughts paired with beautiful pictures.

  4. Thank you, this is amazing and exactly what I needed to read today. May God bless you during this holy week.

  5. Wow. Just wow.
    I should have read this before Holy Week this last week. But maybe it wouldn't have made as much sense then. This is so beautifully written. So hauntingly true.