Posted by: wordofthevine | December 14, 2012

The Precious Cross

The Cross by Carol Wild

The Cross by Carol Wild

One day as I was working at the computer, one of my older kids called me via SKYPE and blurted out in an emotional whirl,  “I don’t like what I’m doing in this job at all.”  As they continued to describe how they weren’t happy, a thought came to me. There was something familiar to their struggle that I’ve also encountered myself. This was a time of formation for them. They were being formed to move away from the blaring clamor of their own ego, to focus on the needs of the people they were serving. While this job may not be part of their long term calling, for right now, it was no accident for them. God was using this to make them like “gold that’s been tested in fire,” to loosen the arch grip of self in them.

If we hope to grow in the virtues and the capacity to sacrifice our own preferences out of love for others, we have to encounter the Cross. This is not saying we don’t acknowledge our own needs, but that we have to be flexible in grace to surmount the demands of love.

Many times, I have conceptualized the Cross sort of visually, as an object that I can pick up and carry. Lately, I have come to see the reality of the Cross differently. It’s not something static and concrete. It’s a living moment, where we find ourselves, like a streaming video of the now. Our challenge is to be in the Cross when it comes to us as part of God’s providence.

The first step is to recognize the spiritual significant of the present moment, to recognize that now I’m in the Cross. Take up the thinking of St. Ignatius of Loyola with his Rules for Discernment of Spirits. Be armed, roll up your sleeves, choose to apply what you know to be true, no matter now difficult it is. The gift of the Cross is that we’ll see our faith, not as an abstract concept but, as the absolute necessity of our lives to get us through. By exercising our ability to choose to remain in the true and endure in hope, we get our sea legs and become more effective in loving others.

Servant of God, Archbishop Martinez speaks of the benefits of the Cross. In the The Secrets of the Interior Live,  Martinez describes that, “The Lord pours precious graces upon us which are bitter sometimes: temptations, aridities, and an awareness/experience of our faults. Someday we’ll understand that among the greatest graces that God has given us, are those disconcerting ones which make us think he is abandoning us. Actually, He is attracting us deeper.”

This Advent, let us go deeper into the mystery of Christ with us, Christ with us in the ups and in the downs of following Him. Where do you find this week that you are encountering the Cross, the precious, yet bitter graces. ~Mary   


  1. is there a way to subscribe to your blog?

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