The Cross in Our Every Day Lives
by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, O.C.D.
To accept God's will always and in every circumstance implies the renouncement of one's own will; it is impossible to be conformed to Jesus in everything, "who in this life had no other pleasure, nor desired any, than to do the will of His Father" (J.C AS I, 13.4) without renouncing one's own selfishness. And all this means: detachment, crosses, sacrifices, self-denial. It means setting out steadfastly on the way initiated by Jesus Himself: "If any many will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me (Mt 16:24)...
Why He Sends us Trials
That is why the Holy Spirit, after setting us on the road of the Cross by His inspirations----which tend to make us accept, for the love of God, all that is hard and painful to nature---takes it upon Himself to complete our purification. He does this by sending us trials, both exterior and interior. We must know, says St. John of the Cross, "that this divine fire of love...is a wounding the soul, and destroying and consuming in it the imperfections of its bad habits; this is the operation of the Holy Spirit wherein He prepares it for divine union and the transformation of love in God" (LF, 1,19)
It is for us to second His action primarily by willingly accepting everything hard and painful that comes to us in our daily life. Often we neglect the Cross of daily trials and prefer one that is far away, and which perhaps, may never be sent to us.
We must not seek the Cross in these extraordinary sufferings, seldom, if ever, encountered; we must look for it in the duties, the life, the difficulties, and the sacrifices of each day and each moment.
Here we shall find the unfathomable treasures, recognizing them by the light of faith...by the aid of the Holy Spirit who urges us to embrace these daily crosses, not merely endure them----and to accept them and offer them willingly, saying with all our heart: yes, I want this, even though it seems to crush me".
O Holy Spirit, I come before you like a little green fruit which will ripen in the sun, like a bit of straw which is to be burned, like a drop of dew to be absorbed in the sun, like an ignorant little child who must be taught...I wish to cast myself into You, O Holy Spirit, divine Fire, so that You will complete my purification, destroy my miserable self-love and transform me wholly into love.
O consuming Fire, divine Love in person, inflame me, burn me, destroy all self-love in me, transform me into entirely into love...bring me to the 'nothing,' that I may process the All"
----[Source: Divine Intimacy]
Feel helpless in the face of evils in the world? Jesus taught that when we take up our cross and offer it up for the suffering, we are doing something of eternal significance for those we are concerned about. It is little offerings which betoken Love, and God's Heart moves in response to such prayers. "Draw near to God and he will come near to you."---James 4:8
We don't go looking for troubles, but when they come we can turn them into spiritual gold, for ourselves, for others, for the whole world in Christ. Nothing is wasted, nothing useless, nothing for nothing!
Quotes from the Little Flower
Prayer is, for me, an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy! In a word, it is something exalted, supernatural, which dilates the soul and unites it to God. Sometimes when I find myself, spiritually, in dryness so great that I cannot produce a single good thought, I recite very slowly a Pater or an Ave Maria; these prayers alone console me, they suffice, they nourish my soul.---Story of A Soul, Chapter X
"Together [joy and sorrow] come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed"---The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
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