Thursday after Ash Wednesday
How we carry our cross every day can affect the lives and spirituality of many, many people.
Fr. Michael Gaitley relates the story
of a father who knows his child
must undergo a very serious surgery.
Without the surgery,
the child would never heal and could die.
Even with anesthesia and pain medication,
the surgery and post-operation pains
will be very difficult to bear.
How that father wishes it was he and not his son.
He doesn’t want his child to suffer the surgery,
but it is the only way to get better.
If that’s not difficult enough for the father,
imagine if his child thought the father didn’t love him
and only wanted to hurt him.
How would he feel
if his son kicked and screamed,
and even cursed his father
for putting him through this surgery?
It would break his father’s heart.
That is how it is with God and us.
Our Heavenly Father knows we are spiritually sick
and need the surgery of carrying our crosses.
He doesn’t want to see us suffer,
but let us not complain and get upset
when those daily crosses come
only to heal us of our selfishness.
We bear his cross in love for a greater good
that only sacrificial love can produce.
Might that we accept them
with truthful praise and thanksgiving in our hearts
like St. Bernadette who prayed
after she revealed the appearance
of our Blessed Virgin Mary to her at Lourdes:
“Thank you, my God, for the procurator,
superintendent of police, the policeman,
and for Abbe Payramale’s harsh words!
“For the slap in the face.
“For the bantering, the insults,
for those who believed I was crazy,
for those who believed I was lying,
for those who believed I was greedy,
thank you, Lady Mary!
How many people have come to spiritual health,
visiting that grotto and washing
in those baths of Lourdes
because Bernadette accepted
so graciously her daily cross?
Embrace with great love and joy the cross
that is sent our way with surgical precision.