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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Finding Happiness in the Cross

It is HARD to be holy, and working on the habits that increase virtues is sometimes a very harsh labor – yet it’s one lightened by love. The penances and chosen deprivations of Lent help us to take stock of our spiritual lives, our sinful habits, our willful disorder, and in so doing, help us to know ourselves more clearly in the face of God. Yes, it’s difficult, but it is the difficulty that bears fruit, for we must all pass through the Cross in order to have eternal life. During Lent, more than any other time of the year, we know the weight of the shadow that falls over us and we walk with Christ towards Calvary, joining our own bloody footprints to His.

It is easy to become frustrated with the world in which we live; the world that hates Our Lord and anyone who sincerely seeks to follow Him. It is easy to become angry with those who claim to be Christian and then legislate things completely contrary to Christianity. It is easy to give in to despair when we look around at the multiple disasters, both natural and man-made, that plague our globalized society, and it is easy to let slip vitriolic condemnations.

We are fallen creatures and even when we’re trying to grow in holiness, we fail miserably. Constantly. Because of this, it’s easy to want to give up.

Some mornings I don’t even want to get out of bed for it seems that I awake only to the anticipations of the sufferings of that day. Then I gaze upon the Crucifix and ponder…if things are so bad now, how much worse would they be if Jesus had not come? How much worse off would we be if Jesus had not sanctified the world with His Incarnation and restored our relationship with the Father through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection?

It is the Cross that gives us Hope, that beckons us onward, calling us to Faith, demanding that we follow this life-giving paradox of sacrificial Charity.

Today I went into the chapel to pray. As always, I was flooded with a sense of relief. When I arrive, Jesus already knows what I’ve done and what I haven’t done. He knows the state of my soul perfectly, and still, He allows me into His Holy presence. When I kneel and enter into conversation with Him, nothing else is important. Entering the church, entering the chapel is entering Eternity; a place where time does not exist, where the problems of the world melt away, and I can collapse at the feet of my beloved Savior.

He is the one who makes life worth living. It is for Him I arise each morning, and for Him I work each day. It is Jesus I seek when I have no happiness, for real happiness can only be found in Him. It is Jesus who gives me the strength to go on, and continues to pull me forward and upward when I’m ready to give up. Through this long winter, this long season of Lent, through this desert of spiritual aridity punctuated by the thorns of sin, I continue forward because I know, ultimately, how this will end. I may not be very holy now, and I may fall constantly, but as long as Our Lord is there, I will always have a reason to get up again and continue pressing on.

Thank you, Jesus for our crosses. Every single one. And especially yours.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post as a source of meditation for the remainder of Lent, indeed for daily life with Jesus.

Fr. Joseph

Son of St. Philip said...

You are indeed His daugher, His Queen... the way you write and understand His presence makes it quite clear. You were not rejected; but chosen. You need not find a vocation - it is there. He is calling you. Follow Him and He will lead you.

Greetings from the Caribbean !

Msgr. Michael

p.s. Would you like to be chair of Religious Studies in a Catholic College in Jamaica ? If so, just shoot me an e-mail...

Adoro said...

LOL.. Lux Veritatis, that comment made my already wonderful day (started by finishing a retreat with 4 solid hours of prayer). Thanks! LOL!

If I can find your email I'll do so just to tell you that!