Little Crosses – Fr. Considine, 1950’s
Suffering which comes to us from God is best; and that comes to us through our circumstances, our surroundings, ourselves, and those we live with: these come from God, being permitted by Him. They are the warp and woof of our spiritual life.
Some big thing may come to us on Monday or Tuesday,and we say, ‘Oh, I took that very well, I am getting on,’ but what about Wednesday, and Thursday, and the rest of the week?
The spiritual life is a growth: we don’t grow on odd days. If you want to become solidly virtuous, your life from moment to moment gives you occasions of bearing lovingly for God’s sake any amount of suffering.
People forget to sanctify the daily little crosses of life; they must be big and marked with a red cross, that we may recognize they come from God. But we can’t get away from these little crosses and mortifications, they are woven into our life-a clear sign they come from God.
Someone slights you, or speaks unkindly of you, and you get over it in a week, and think yourself very virtuous: God wants you so to overcome your pride that you should not be affected by it at all.
Do we receive crosses as a great deal less than we deserve? Do we take them in a spirit of resignation, and a sense of their justice? Shouldn’t we eliminate a good many altogether if we did this?
Our limitations, of nature, position, intellectual gifts, are very real mortifications and crosses; but if we have some realization of what we have deserved for our sins, we shan’t be lost in admiration of our patience, but we shall accept them quite naturally, and bear them as brightly and cheerfully as we can.
There is nothing so good for the education of character as having something to bear. It brings out all that is best in us. If I have all I can desire, excellent food and lodging, and no cares and anxieties, what is there to try my temper? What is there to admire in me, if I am amiable and cheerful under these circumstances?
We admire those who, in spite of difficulties, bear their burdens cheerfully and unselfishly, thinking of others’ sorrows rather than their own.
How then shall we carry out what we believe of the value of suffering into our daily life, and let it, as it ought, bring out what is great and noble in our characters? We must have a harder ideal, and profit by the difficulties of life.
Wouldn’t it be well to act upon what we acknowledge in theory to be excellent? Our good God desires us to have happiness in His service. Often you will see that the heavier the cross, the lighter is the step, and the more cheerful the countenance with which it is borne.
Why let yourself be so easily disturbed? What are you worrying about?
You are not living with saints and angels, you are not one yourself. It is a blessing to be rid of the crosses coming from my own fault, but those that God sends, accept them gladly. God allows natural laws to create difficulties, and then helps us to overcome them.
Have absolute confidence in God.
The Devil exults most when he can steal a man’s joy of spirit from him. He carries a powder with him to throw into any smallest possible chinks of our conscience, to soil the spotlessness of our mind and the purity of our life. But when spiritual joy fills our hearts, the Serpent pours out his deadly poison in vain. – St. Francis of Assissi