Desiring the Cross
CHRIST tells you:
MY CHILD, to bear your daily cross, to actually love it, to gain control over your body by punishing it, to avoid honors, to desire insults, to despise yourself and to want others to despise you, to bear all trials and disappointments with peace of soul, to desire no prosperity in this world – all of this is not natural to any normal human being. One who has these desires and follows them out, is either abnormal, or he is putting on a show to get admiration or some other human satisfaction, or else he is receiving the higher wisdom of divine grace.
2. Without My grace, such spiritual victories over self are impossible. Your weak human nature could not rise to such heights of supernatural virtue. My grace brings you a strength unknown to the worldly man. With this strength you can gain control over your pride and earthly self-seeking.
3. Be a good and loyal soldier of Mine. Be determined to embrace your cross for love of Me. I warn you now that if you are resolved to prove your love for Me, you can only do it by embracing your daily cross of annoyances, labors, disappointments, opposition, and even different forms of persecution. The higher you rise in true and solid virtue, the more easily will you recognize your crosses and embrace them. In fact, as your love for Me grows, so too will your love for the cross.
4. When I feel that I can trust you with a heavier cross, I will give it to you. Fear not, however, for I will never burden you beyond your strength. With these heavier crosses I will be offering you greater glory and happiness in Heaven.
My strength to bear the cross will come from the cross itself. I need only prepare my soul for it by prayer and self-training. I should practice little acts of self-denial in preparation for the unexpected trial which will soon come. Then, as I am faced with the trial, Jesus will help me understand its higher value. He will show me how I can draw closer to Him by embracing this cross with patience and self-forgetfulness. The more selflessly I embrace my daily crosses, the more shall I find in them wisdom, understanding, love, and supernatural strength. I shall see through the emptiness of earthly satisfactions and pretense. My self-sacrifices will bring me a firmer love for Jesus, and I shall gradually find it easier to suffer my daily trials for His sake. In fact, if I generously follow these graces, I may even receive grace to desire a heavier cross for love of Jesus.
My crucified King, I kneel now at the foot of Your cross, and consider the heavenly lesson which You teach from there. In Your suffering I shall learn how I, too, should embrace my daily crosses, in order to make reparation for my sins, become more fit for higher graces, and offer to You a love purified of selfishness and self-consideration. You deserve such devotion from me. True, my human nature shudders at the thought of suffering any insults, criticisms, mockery, failures, disappointments, and pain. With the higher wisdom and strength which I shall gain through my present crosses, I shall prepare myself for still greater ones. You alone can perform this glorious change within me. I hope for it, with the help of Your holy grace. Amen.