Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Carrying of the Cross and Redemptive Suffering

Tuesday again, and the Sorrowful Mysteries are up on the traditional Rosary rotation.  As I meditate again on the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, The Carrying of the Cross, I ponder the fact that we all have our crosses to carry.  Some people carry very heavy crosses, for long periods of time.  Others shoulder crosses that are much lighter and easier to bear. 

As Christians, we realize that we must suffer in this earthly life, but we find comfort in the knowledge that we do not carry these crosses alone.  Our Lord always walks beside us, adding His assistance when the cross seems too heavy to bear.  Recall that even Jesus accepted help (from Simon of Cyrene) in carrying His own cross.

I feel so sorry for those people who do not believe in God and must always question the suffering they experience with no outlet to offer it up or to see its value in redemption.  Redemptive suffering unites us with Christ on His road to Calvary and even helps us find joy in our pain.

The saints can be wonderful role models for us through their example of redemptive suffering.  St. Faustina, the Divine Mercy ambassador, offered suffering for the conversion of countless sinners.  St. Therese of Lisieux, the "Little Flower" did the same.

One of the lighter crosses I bear is that of housework.  It's not a huge burden, but it is not something I exactly enjoy.  I found a wonderful saint to help me through her example-- St. Zita.  You might enjoy my article about "St. Zita in My Kitchen" on the wonderful new Catholic e-magazine website, The Integrated Catholic Life.  St. Zita's feast day is celebrated today (April 27th).

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