Monday, July 25, 2005
The Carrying of the Cross--Part Five of the Seven Bloodsheddings of Christ  

The month of July is set aside for special devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus. One of the devotions associated with the Precious Blood, is a meditation on the seven references in Scripture to the shedding of Christ's blood. In this fifth installment, I would like to reflect on the Lord's carrying of the cross.
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha." (John 19:17)
It is a custom to associate a particular virtue or characteristic with each of the mysteries of the Rosary. Patience is the virtue which is connected with the fourth Sorrowful Mystery of Jesus' carrying of the cross. Patience is that quality that enables us to persevere through difficulties because we trust the goal to which we are striving is worth the effort and we trust that through love we will be able to overcome all of the obstacles which might prevent us from reaching the goal.

Jesus embraced the cross He was given because by that cross He knew He might be able to continue to pour out His Precious Blood in an act of infinite love which would clear the way for the salvation of every person who would ever live. He did not shy away from grasping the very wood of the cross because He knew what great good would come from this most evil act which was His crucifixion.

We, too, are given a cross. They are lovingly selected by our Lord in order that He might use it to help us to become holy. It is not someone else's cross mistakenly given to us. It is the cross for each one of us that is neither too heavy nor too light. It can be born by us through grace alone.

Oh, but this cross is too much. It means cleansing in areas of my life which I do not care to think about, much less do something about to change. This is where I need the patience that is associated with carrying the cross. Patience will help me to go through that painful purgation of my soul that is sometimes so agonizingly slow. In fact, I often do not see any change until I am able to look back much later and thank God that He helped me through that time when the cross seemed especially heavy.

How heavy that cross must have been for Him! It was weighed down with the sins of the world. No wonder, he stumbled and fell. Yet, thanks be to God, He got up again to complete His act of salvific love. He fell because His love is so great. I fall because I am so weak. Yet it is His love that enables me to get up again and again. His love embraced His cross. Can I embrace mine?

Next Installment: The Crucifixion

Previous Posts:

The Circumcision

The Agony in the Garden

The Scourging at the Pillar

The Crowning with Thorns

Posted by David at 3:30 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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