Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carrying the Cross

When a friend sent me this years ago, it made a lasting impression.

How often on this blog have I spoken about the cross of infertility, and made the argument that we need to carry our crosses with faith, hope, and maybe even grace? And yet, the idea, when you sit and really ponder it, always seems new. At least to me.

Like today. It was a Sorrowful Mystery day. As I drove to work, reciting my rosary, my mind was wandering (I'm not great at meditating, but at least I stayed "on topic" with my thoughts!) to what it meant to be a Sorrowful Mystery... I remembered my Catholic therapist's advice, to welcome sorrow, and to remember that sorrow is not the same as sadness. Sorrow is not the same as sadness. And so, a Sorrowful Mystery is not a Sad time in the life of Jesus, but one in which we can find faith, hope, and maybe even grace - just as we do in the Glorious, Joyful, and Luminous Mysteries.

This thought formed during the 4th decade - The Carrying of the Cross.

And in a new way, I began to reflect on how Jesus' carrying of His cross was indeed a mystery of faith, hope, and grace - He knew the end of that road. He knew He was carrying that cross only to be nailed upon it. And He embraced it.

I don't know if I ever really thought about the cross of infertility this way. I may have. But, just as God makes all things new, He allowed me to see it in a new light today, and experience something new out of the same, tired, old life situation. To experience the mystery of His cross differently.

Carrying our cross, and carrying it well (with faith, hope, and grace) can lead to our salvation. But first... it will lead to our crucifixion. Perhaps it made it easier for me to carry when I neglected to truly understand this important piece of information ;) Yet God brought me through it nonetheless.

So, we carry our crosses not just for the sake of carrying them. We carry them to an endpoint. Not a very pretty one, either. And yet, if we endure the journey... the Resurrection awaits us.

This Holy Week, I will experience this in a whole new way. And man, is this cross getting heavy these days. But I wouldn't have it any other way.


Endless Strength said...

I really like this post. Recently, I wrote a letter to my doctor thanking him for helping us through what was a very sorrowful few days, and I used the term 'sorrow' and the term 'sad' because sadness was my feelings, sorrow was a description of what was going on.

I am currently grieving a loss and I've been amazed to find that even when I know something will hurt or make me cry, I find myself wanting it...and right now as I read this post, I started to see why that must be -- perhaps subconsciously, I am welcoming sorrow. anyway, probably neither here nor there, but thought I'd share.

Endless Strength said...

Wow pardon the poor grammar. yikes. wrote a bit too fast there.

Sew said...

Jesus loves you in a special way!

Isaiah 55:8-9 said...

I don't know if you've ever read the Way of the Cross by St. Josemaria, but its a good one... he talked about how lovingly Jesus embraces the Cross.

Loved this reflection.

Mrs. Amen said...

This was just the slap in the face I needed. thank you for sharing this with us. I don't know what great chasm I may be asked to cross one day, but the thought that this cross I carry may help me just the tool God is gifting me with to cross it...wow, just wow. I was moved to tears.

JellyBelly said...

I've thought more than once this Lent that if Christ could carry His cross than mine is nothing in comparison. Yes, this cross is a gift, especially when it becomes more burdensome.

Kat said...

Praying for you as this cross is heavy! God is making you a more beautiful and compassionate person through this cross; you have helped inspire and comfort so many of us with the cross of infertility. May God reward you for taking up your cross and carrying it! I am so thankful for you TCIE!

Hebrews 11:1 said...

Wow...that is a powerful image. When we are hurting it is so hard to see the purpose of our sufferings, but they do indeed have a purpose greater than we can know. Thank you so much for posting this.

Julie said...

A bridge to heaven for sure!
Thanking God that my cross is heavy enough and big enough to being me closer to Him.

the misfit said...

I guess your reflections are a little more spiritually sound than mine :).

Have a blessed Triduum!

Being Refined said...

TCIE: Amazingly beautiful and heart wrenching reflections. Love it! Praying for you (as always).