Have you ever looked up to Heaven and just asked, “What is going on, Lord? Why have you abandoned your people?” Or as one of my favorite saints once said, “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them?” Or just as real as I can get, “What the what, God?”
I cannot check a text, answer a call, read a post, or visit with another Christ-filled intentional-living family without realizing WE ARE UNDER ATTACK. The crosses that we are all bearing seem unreal.
But, BUT, BUT… have you looked around closely? Have you seen the undeniable LOVE and SUPPORT from your own community – the Body of Christ? I have. I have seen it, I have felt it.
When you are experiencing the cross – you cannot think straight. Kind neighbors and acquaintances express their love and concern; they give you hugs; they ask, “what do you need?” The body of Christ…they just BRING IT! The body of Christ…they PRAY without ceasing, without asking. The body of Christ…ding your phone with reminders that they are praying and coordinate Rosary chains and submit your name to all their prayer groups. The body of Christ…they just text you with a message…”I’m dropping a meal off at your door in 30 minutes”. The body of Christ…don’t even ask the details. The body of Christ…gives you space when you need it, invades it when you need a hug more than you need to be alone. The body of Christ…hurts with you, cries with you, hugs you until you melt, and then makes you laugh in the middle of carrying the cross!
I was blessed enough to sit down and visit with some other mommas experiencing and sharing their own crosses. It was salve for my soul. Y’all – WE CANNOT HIDE OUR CROSSES! It isolated us. Now, I am NOT saying we complain, gripe, lose hope. But, what I experienced sitting down with moms truly rooted in Christ and Faith was BEAUTIFUL. I felt so lightened, so connected, so filled with hope. To see others in the MIDST OF SUFFERING and radiating HOPE, finding ways to THANK, expressing their PRAISE by TRUSTING in Him ALONE – that was not just a chit chat- that was a prayer meeting! We all walked away confident that WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. The Body of Christ is real- the communion of saints is real.
While I carry my cross, it is very difficult to even formulate the words of the prayers I know. I rely on my sisters in Christ so much at this time. And my prayer is my TRUST. When I could finally formulate words, I begged God “show me how I am to Praise You in this; show me all that I am to be THANKful for- Thy Will Be Done”. And He did!
He reassured me that my Trust is my Praise. So many Scripture passages and Saint quotes ran through my mind. “My Grace is sufficient for you,” “Carry your cross squarely on your shoulders, do not drag it… if you carry it that way…it is the holy cross.” The list could go on and on. Daily, the body of Christ sends me His word or a prayer or a song to get me through. They do not or did not know how well timed – because it was not them but the Spirit in them.
He opened my eyes to things I can be thankful for every day. Small little things, small improvements, moments of laughter— the scales fell from my eyes, and I can see the blessing in the cross.
As so many of us carry our cross – I personally want to drag mine at times or at least hook it up to the back of my suv and tow it, but that’s not really how it works is it? – but as we carry it, as we feel the weight of it- let us remember that WE ARE NOT ALONE. We unite our sufferings to Christ, we encounter His and our Blessed Mother, Veronica, Simon of Cyrene, the women along the Way— we both look up at the cross and down from it. We place ourselves in God’s Word, in His promises, in His Church. We keep our eyes on Him and His will. We TRUST that He is God, and this is ALL for the Salvation of ALL involved. We bear the suffering; we offer it as a prayer and for reparation. We give it ALL to Him through His Mother. Please, if you haven’t been consecrated to Jesus through Mary- I urge you to do so- Because when you are suffering – you need your Mother.
We NEED our Mother now more than ever. Remember o most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee o virgin of virgins our Mother. To thee do we cry; before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy, heat and answer us. Amen.
Author: Monica Hebert