“You should realize that God wants you to be glad and that, if you do all you can, you will be happy, very, very happy, although you will never for a moment be without the Cross. But that Cross is no longer a gallows. It is the throne from which Christ reigns.” ~ Josemaría Escrivá
The cross, for many, while a symbol of resurrection and eternal life won for us by Jesus Christ, is, nonetheless, a symbol of struggle, sadness, and pain. If you looked for a definition of happiness, I do not think you would find many of them that included the cross.
We shy away from crosses in our lives. We are loathe to shoulder crosses given to us. We do not want to help others carry their crosses either for the pain, sorrow, and shame often repel us.
When we feel this way, it is because we are looking at the cross wrong. We are focusing upon the earthly implement of pain and death. We should be looking at the post-resurrection version of the cross: an implement of redemption.
If redemption is brought to us by the humiliation and suffering of a cross, so be it. Better to shoulder our cross now than to run from it in this life only to miss the opportunity for eternal life with Christ.
When we shoulder the crosses in our lives, we find that they are not as bad as we would have thought. The reason for that is because Jesus is our own Simon of Cyrene. Jesus helps us to carry our cross from the moment that He gives it to us until the time we are called to Him.
The cross, then, should never frighten. It should beckon. Because it is, indeed, the throne from which Christ reigns. We, His loyal subjects, long to be with Him in paradise.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the strength that you need to embrace your cross and carry it on your way to the Kingdom.