TAKe UP YOUR CROSS
Kathy Bernard - Publisher
He said to them all:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must
deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."
- Luke 9:23
LIFE BEGINS AT THE CROSS
ONE of Pope John Paul's favorite quotes is
"Each man, in his
suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of
You might consider yourself far more fortunate than you
imagined. And God sees your cross, whatever the size, and He
your pain. You may stumble, but Christ, our Savior, will be there always to help you carry
your load. Consider that your "heavy" cross gave you new understanding
mercy and love. Each day that you carry it you become
stronger and closer to Jesus.
Pope John Paul says:
"And Christ, through
His own salvific suffering, is very much present in every human
suffering, and can act from within that suffering by the powers of
His Spirit of truth, His consoling spirit."
all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may
have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come
the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold,
perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and
when Jesus Christ is revealed."
1 Peter 1:6-7
WE all have
burdens to carry in this unpredictable world. Our lives are filled
with many things: disappointments, loss of friends or relatives,
physical problems, money troubles, and family worries to name just
a few. Some of us simply want to give up, because we are too tired
of the struggle. But we, as Catholic Christians, have learned that
there is someone Who does care and says, "Just lean On Me and let
Me help you carry that cross."
"Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."
story, written by an unknown hand, about a young man who felt he was at the end of his rope with
misery. He felt his "cross" was just too heavy to bear.
Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord, I
can't go on," he complained. "My cross is just too heavy to bear."
The Lord replied,
if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this
room. Then open
that other door and
pick out any cross you wish." The man was filled with relief and
said, "Thank you Lord," and did as he was told.
Upon opening the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large
the tops were not visible. Then he spotted a tiny cross leaning
against the far wall. "I'd like that one, Lord," he whispered. And
the Lord replied, "My son, that is the cross you just brought
"My brethren, count it all
joy when you fall into various trials,
that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let
its perfect work, that you may be perfect and
we do not realize it, Jesus still walks with us and helps us through
all things. If we listen and pray, He will speak to us through the
Holy Spirit, comfort us through the bad times, rejoicing with us
through the good. Through our tears of sorrow, He will send us a
vision of hope, and we will know He is right there for us. He never
promised that this earthly life would be a continuous joy. But, as
Christians, we are never alone for our Savior is always there with
us. He quiets our spirit and keep us going. And if we take the opportunity to talk to
others, we will learn we all have burdens to bear for they, too,
carry crosses filled with
troubles and problems. Sometimes our shoulders become heavy
with the worries of this world but we have a God Who will, in His
own time, come through for us. He will never let us down.
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
of us are inclined to handle our problems our own way, forgetting
that Jesus is right there with us, feeling our pain, our losses, our
hurts, our fears and all the things that earthly life gives us.
Yes, there are the struggles through the hurts in life that are thrown on our
shoulders. And so many times we forget to look up to Jesus, our Savior,
Who promised us that He will never leave us stranded.
be the Lord who daily carries us.
God is our deliverer."
our Savior Who
promises to send the Holy Spirit to guide us back on the path of
hope that Jesus holds in His hand for all of us as Christians. The
Holy Spirit within us promises and whispers God's love and hope to
us. We are never alone, never stranded for Jesus never fails us.
But our dependency is only valid if we hand our burdens over to
Christ Who will help carry whatever burdens earthly life gives
us, promising us His gift of eternal life where there will be no
more pain or sorrow. If we listen, through prayer, He
will give us a hope that transcends all earthly burdens.
"For I consider that the sufferings of
this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us...
there are many kinds of burdens we face: burdens of sin, temptation,
guilt, conflicting loyalties and sorrows, for this life is filled
with stress, cares, worries, trials.
But know this
is when we need Jesus at our side, to carry us through all the pain
this earth gives us.
I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to
this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the
of this world, but be transformed by the renewing
of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve
what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.."
said to His disciples,
'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny
themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
For whoever wants to save their life
will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find
it. What good will it be for
someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can
anyone give in exchange for their soul?' - Matthew 16:24-26
Heavenly Father, only
You can make me strong in the face of these earthly trials and
tribulations that prey upon my faith.
Satan, the father of lies, who tries to take away our trust in You.
Help me to
stand strong under this burden of suffering. Let me remember during these tribulations that weigh heavily,
that YOU are right there with me and will never leave me stranded.
You sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to show us the way to You through
faith. He died on a cross for all our unrighteous sins; He paid the
ransom, the price of eternal life for even unworthy me. And though I stumble
sometimes, I know, through prayer, it is Your love that can lighten
the weight of all earthly crosses, yes, even for me.
I give this
earthly life to you. I want to be a model of Your love so
others can come to You with hope, wanting one day, to live forever
Renew me Lord, renew my courage and keep me strong, letting me hold
onto Your loving and powerful hand. I give you my soul, my all and
all, for this earth is not my home but if I hold tight to You, one
day You have promised to take me home where I will live forever with
You, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. There is NO other name that can
bring me to You and so, I ask this through the mighty Name of Your
Son, Jesus Christ. - AMEN!!
"And God will wipe away every tear from
their (your) eyes; there shall be
no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more
pain, for the former things have passed away."
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