St. Josemaria’s Way of the Cross is a great little book (a pamphlet really) with short, hard-hitting reflections on the stations of the cross. We prayed the stations each day together on my silent retreat a few weeks ago, and I keep finding myself now thinking back on some of the little inspirations the Lord put on my heart as we walked with him through His passion.
For some reason, tonight I keep thinking about one particular part of the meditation from the second station (Jesus Takes up His Own Cross).
“That voice you hear within you: ‘What a heavy yoke you have freely taken upon yourself! ‘ …is the voice of the devil; the heavy burden…of your pride.
Ask Our Lord for humility, and you too will understand those words of Jesus: iugum enim meum suave est, et onus meum leve (Matt 11:30), which I like to translate freely, as follows: My yoke is freedom, my yoke is love, my yoke is unity, my yoke is life, my yoke is fruitfulness.
There is a kind of fear around, a fear of the Cross, of Our Lord ‘s Cross. What has happened is that people have begun to regard as crosses all the unpleasant things that crop up in life, and they do not know how to take them as God ‘s children should, with supernatural outlook.”
Yet again, leave it to St. Josemaria to make me cringe with self-realization.
How often I have I lost a supernatural outlook–a right heart, in right perspective–on both the real crosses and the plain old “unpleasant things” in my life? How many times have I let the devil into my over-active mind to wreak havoc imagining new crosses for myself, or breeding self-pity and false humility?
On my retreat, I spent some time in prayer listing out the real crosses that the Lord has permitted in my life. Then I looked at each thing I had written down, and prayed St. Josemaria’s famous prayer, “Lord, that I might see.”
Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew that, “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me” (Matt 16:24).
As I read that verse, it speaks to me like this: Each day, Erin, begin again in your walk with God. Even if you’ve been nothing but mediocre for days or weeks or months or years. Each morning, take up the crosses and also “all those unpleasant things” the Lord has permitted in your life, and follow Him by choosing to respond in everything just like our Blessed Mother did–with acceptance, trust and hope.