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This illustration of Jesus Crucified is by artist Jason Koltuniak for the children's book from Divine Providence Press, Bear the Cross for Christ. A priest’s powerful reminder for Catholics in mourning: I believe everyone has that one thing they mourn, an understanding that what they have longed for in this life they will never have. I am not talking about material things. Perhaps it is a particular relationship, or approval for your labors, or freedom from drama, or things of more substance.

At the Foot of the Cross 

People will try to help with platitudes or reminders, but it just kind of digs that cross into your shoulders all the more. I am working through something like that now. I find the only useful place is at the foot of the Cross and laying what I am mourning there, lest the mourning leads to resentment or rebellion. Where do you take your mourning?

There is a lot of mourning out there right now. For some it is matters within the Church, for some it is matters in our society. I see a lot of that mourning turning into resentment and calls for rebellion. I see a lot of hateful things being said coming from a place, a justified hurt.

That said, should not our dealing with such things begin at the foot of the Cross? Why not begin with asking Christ to help us to bear our crosses as He bore His Cross? If I or you must bear a cross, why not bear it with the strength, love, and courage with which He bore His? Our rage, resentment, and fury only serve to make our crosses heavier and press crosses upon other people’s shoulders.

Way of Execution 

We don’t get to fashion a cross to our own preferences and desires. We don’t get to choose from where the cross comes. Jesus didn’t... why do we think we should?

Crosses are a way of execution. Our crosses are God’s way of saying our dependence on the wisdom of this world, on getting our own way, and comfort seeking must die so that we depend upon Him. We join the pain of our Cross to that of Christ on the Cross.  To do that means we must learn to bear those crosses as Christ did.

This post originally appeared on Facebook.


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Author Copyright © Father Bill Peckman. All Rights Reserved.

Image Copyright © Jason Koltuniak / Divine Providence Press. All Rights Reserved.

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