If anyone wishes to come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me.
I love Lent. For the last several years, I’ve so appreciated the wisdom of the Church in this time of preparation for Our Lord’s Passion, death & resurrection. Especially since getting married and struggling with IF, I find it one of the easier seasons in the church to participate in! It reminds me that suffering has a purpose. So often I think of Our Lady - constantly giving her fiat, and yet, how she must have suffered during her Son’s passion. One of my favorite parts of the movie, The Pas.sion, is the scene when Mary meets Jesus carrying his cross. Behold… I make all things new. It’s so beautiful… and so true. I forget that my cross is what our Lord is specifically asking me to carry.
I love this reflection on the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery by St. Jose.maria Esc.riva in the book, Holy Ro.sary: (excerpts)
Carrying his Cross, Jesus goes out toward Calvary … and they lay hold of a certain Simon from Cyrene, who is coming in from the country; and they make him take the cross and carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)
The prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled…
If anyone would follow me… Little friend, we are sad, living the Passion of our Lord Jesus. See how lovingly he embraces the cross. Learn from him. Jesus carries the cross for you; you… carry it for Jesus.
But don’t drag the cross…. Carry it squarely on your shoulder, because your cross, if you carry it like that, will not be just any cross… It will be the Holy Cross. Don’t carry your cross with resignation: resignation is not a generous word. Love the Cross. When you really love it, your cross will be… a cross without a cross.
And surely you will find Mary on the way, just as Jesus did.
Resignation is not a generous word. I find myself coming back to that sentence over and over again. Why am I so often resigned in the struggle with IF? Christ did embrace his cross. He knew he was coming to die. Was he afraid? Certainly. We only need reflect on his actions in the garden to know that. But he embraced the will of his Father. And when his disciples tried to get in the way, he said “get behind me, Satan!” He knew His Cross would redeem us. And so, during Lent, I know I’ll be working to accept more generously the cross he has chosen for me.
And yes, I’m certain, on the way I will find Our Lady, just as Jesus did.