This past Tuesday, myself and John continued with the six-week Lenten reflection series based on the book, Seven Words of Jesus and Mary, by Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen at Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. Again, it was an excellent gathering of parishioners from the parish, with even some people coming from other parishes in the area.
The Seven Words of Jesus and Mary is the perfect book for the Lenten Season since it takes the words of Mary from the Scriptures and unites them to the last seven words of Jesus on the Cross.
As I stated in last week’s post, I am going to share some of the quotes and the questions we asked the parishioners who attended each session. I hope you enjoy them and can also reflect on them during this Lenten Season.
1. “The Secord Word of Jesus on Golgotha and the Second Word of Mary in Nazareth teach the same lesson: Everyone in the world has a cross, but the cross is not the same for any two of us…My cross is not the same as yours, and yours is not the same as mine. Every cross in the world is tailor-made, custom-built, patterned to fit one and no one else. That is why we say: ‘My cross is hard.’…So yours is made by circumstances of your life, and by your routine duties. That is why it fits so tightly.”
2. “When God takes someone from us, it is always for a good reason…Every now and then Our Lord takes a lamb from the parched field of a family up to those heavenly green pastures so that the rest of the family may keep their eyes on their true home and follow through.”
3. “The tragedy of this world is not so much the pain in it; the tragedy is that so much of it is wasted. It is only when a log is thrown into the fire that it begins to sing.”
4. “Perfection of personality does not consist of knowing God’s plan, but in submitting to it as it reveals itself in the circumstances of life.”
Is Archbishop Sheen saying that because each of our crosses is custom-made for us, no one’s cross is harder or easier than another’s?
Do we run from joyful suffering or embrace it?
Wonderful book! I ordered after last week’s posting and read the first chapter at Adoration last evening. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much for doing this, Tom. I was not able to be there look forward to seeing the points that were discussed.
In response to the questions…. I believe that we are shaped by our crosses, and that it is not in whether it is harder or not, it is how we respond to it. If we can accept it, carry it and know that it is because God wants us to be closer to Him, then we can give it all to Him and ask Jesus to help us grow from the trials, rather then to resent that we were given the particular burden and compare our cross to another’s.
I don’t know if there is “a should” in embracing joyful suffering, rather is it something we can embrace? We can only embrace joyful suffering if we recognize that Jesus has asked us to do so, because when we recognize this, then we understand how we can love Him, who gave everything to save us.
“Fair” is a human determination. Until we understand that Jesus can forgive anything, no matter when this understanding comes, (like the parable of the workers in the vineyard) we all will receive the love and salvation He wants to give us, once we accept that worthiness has nothing to do with the reception of Him, we can be open to His Divine Mercy, which is more for the one lost sheep, (because it has to be) than for those who are following His ways already.