Monday, January 23, 2012

Quote of the Week

“’No one goes to heaven without suffering.  And as a child of Mary, you may never put down the cross you bear,’ she stated.”  Location 569 in Our Lady of Kibeho; Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa by Immaculee Ilibagiza.  Stated to Anathalie (one of the visionaries) by Our Lady.
                While reading Immaculee’s book about the apparitions in Kibeho, many of the statements spoke to me.  I would like to share a few with you in the coming weeks.  Of course, I will add some of my reflections.  I realize and hope my audience for this blog expands further then Catholic readers.  With that, I know not all of you see Mary in the same light, but please read along anyway.  Whether you believe Mary appears to people or not, the quotes I will share are good material to reflect on to help us in our own lives.  In reality, I will not know for certain if these appearances are legitimate until I make it to heaven and can ask.  Yet, I do believe I can learn and become better for the faith expressed.  So, please join me.
We will not go to heaven without suffering.  Really this seems to be a given.  I don’t know a single person who hasn’t suffered.  Yet, how hard do we work at avoiding that suffering which is the cross that we are to carry on our journey to holiness?  One of my crosses to bear is my health.  When I have a flare-up from either the RA or the fibro, I rest to avoid more pain.  If I have obligations I can’t skip, I take ibuprofen.  Also, I do take my RA medicine to stop the tide of joints being eaten away which will cause more suffering.  Granted this isn’t a cross I will ever be able to completely avoid and with health issues I believe we can get away with trying to avoid some of the suffering.  Yet in the suffering the true cross is to not let my pain be reflected in my attitude and the way I treat those around me.  During my last year or so working full-time, my cross weighed heavily on me.  I shared this with a few of my coworkers, but many of them had no idea what I was going through because I worked at not having my cross become their cross.  Unfortunately, my family did feel my cross.
I do avoid another cross that I am not sure is legitimate like my health.  Relationships are a cross to bear for many if not all people.  I am no exception.  There are people in my life who help me carry my cross and others that seem to jump up and down on it causing me much suffering.  Some people, I have kicked off my cross.  One in particular, I feel I need to put back on, but how much are we to carry those who don’t want to be carried and bring about pain?  I really struggle with this.  When do we let go and when do we hang on to this jumpers?  My husband has jumped on my cross a ton especially while he went through the worst moments of PTSD.  Many spouses have dumped their spouse because of this issue.  Are they right or wrong?  It is a cross military spouses are asked to bear.  Though I struggle with it at times, I could never drop this part of my cross.  Besides, I know I jump on his cross as well.  I just wish I dealt with the jumping as gracefully as he does.
So, how are you doing with bearing your cross?  I pray you are holding up.  And speaking of praying, we need to pray for strength to hold the cross high.  We need to pray to not put down our cross, but to let Jesus hold the parts we just can’t seem to handle.  I pray daily for Him to help me.
Blessing to you all.

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