Must we ask for the Cross? No. Must we look for it? No again. Accept with thanksgiving everything that happens to you. Accept the unexpected crosses - they are the most painful: the sickness which immobilizes you, the feeling of being useless and a burden to others, of knowing that while you are needed you are being prevented from doing what you ought to do; the humiliations, contradictions, slanders, calumnies, ingratitude, bad will, criticisms, good intentions misunderstood, family quarrels, very sorrowful bereavements, separations, and reverses of fortune. Put up with yourself, with your thousand physical, intellectual, and moral miseries... Then there is the cross of having carried the cross badly.
I Believe in Love, pages 208-209
Fr. Jean d'Elbée
French Priest 1892-1982
Marcel - April 3, 2022 - It's not an easy thing to accept "with thanksgiving" everything that happens to you, or to accept the "unexpected crosses" that come our way. Crosses are painful. They are always painful; often humiliating, and usually feel unjust! Such was the cross of Jesus. Our crosses can also often be hidden. Crosses feel much less heroic when they're hidden and we're not praised or admired for carrying them, since no one knows about them. That in itself is another cross. But just as the Father sees every good deed done in secret, so too does He see every hidden cross carried in faith and with hope and love. We don't necessarily have to feel much love to carry our crosses with love. Love is an exercise of the will. Jesus chose freely to embrace His cross. He chose it out of love for His Father and love for you and me. Although that act of faith, hope and love was filled with purpose and meaning, it was none the less agonizingly painful. Our crosses will never altogether be without some measure of pain, perhaps genuine suffering. But when we, by God's unmerited grace, unite ourselves to Jesus, they too can be imparted with purpose and meaning. And in time they too will lead us - as did the cross of Jesus - to share in His resurrection.