How To Profit From Those "Little Crosses"
by Rev. Fr. Daniel Considine S.J.
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. The spiritual life is a growth.
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 recognise 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 realisation 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 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!