Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C
THE BELOVED CROSSES
“Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)
The saints, my dear brethren, all loved the Cross and found in it their strength and their consolation.
But, you will say to me, is it necessary, then, always to have something to suffer? …. Now sickness or poverty, or again scandal or calumny, or possibly loss of money or an infirmity?
Have you been calumniated, my friends? Have you been loaded with insults? Have you been wronged? So much the better! That is a good sign, do not worry, you are on the road that leads to Heaven. Do you know when you ought to be really upset? I do not know if you understand it but it should be precisely for the opposite reason — when you have nothing to endure, when everyone esteems and respects you. Then you should feel envious of those who have the happiness of passing their lives in suffering, or contempt, or poverty.
Are you forgetting, then, that at your Baptism you accepted the Cross, which you must never abandon until death and that it is the key that you will use to open the door of Heaven? Are you forgetting the words of our Saviour: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives. The saints had a great fear of passing any time without suffering, for they looked upon it as time lost.
According to St Teresa, man is only in this world to suffer and when he ceases to suffer, he should cease to live. St John of the Cross asks God, with tears, to give him the grace to suffer more as a reward for all his labours.
What should we conclude, my dear children, from all that?
Just this – Let us make a resolution to have a great respect for all the crosses, which are blessed and which represent to us in a small way all that our God Suffered for us. Let us recall that from the Cross flow all the graces that are bestowed upon us and that as a consequence, a cross which is blessed is a source of blessings, that we should often make the Sign of the Cross on ourselves and always with great respect and, finally, that our houses should never remain without this symbol of salvation.
“Everything is a reminder of the Cross.
We ourselves are made in the shape of a cross.”
Fill your children, my dear brethren, with the greatest respect for the Cross and always have a blessed cross on yourselves, it will protect you against the Devil, from the vengeance of Heaven and from all danger. This is what I desire for you.