The Word of God

Carry Not Drag

Reflection on Mass Reading for August 9, 2019

“This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other.” As simple as it sounds, the real way to face all of the troubles of life lies squarely and assuredly in the total awareness that God is in complete control of our lives and has provided for each and every eventuality that will befall us. One of the most memorable homilies I have ever heard was the same one our pastor preached on New Year’s Eve and Day. He reminded us that in the upcoming  year we will have our worst day and our best day and the good news for all of us was that God is already there for both!

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” All this is great news for us who wish to follow Christ all the way to Heaven. it also addresses the quality of carrying the cross that we have been assessed and given. Some of us like to complain or make things worse when we suffer which is not usually good witness to the Gospel. When we face powerlessness in this life, perhaps reviewing a few possible approaches to our walk with the Lord, in hopes of making our Christian journey the best it can be.

Calm down. The appearance of powerlessness almost always creates a ripe breeding ground for anger. We can’t do anything about a certain situation so we turn to the only things we have control over which are our emotions. Anger is a volatile and perhaps the most destructive of all the vices. Unbridled, it can destroy us.

Discover your own real motivations. Why do we want justice? Is it really revenge? Justice is a virtue; revenge is perversion of justice.

Consider the source. Who lied about us? Who has besmirched our reputation? Whenever we hear praise or harsh criticism, we must first consider its source. What someone says about us is never more important than the one who said it.

Weigh carefully the consequences. This is where prudence rallies into our discussion. Will I bring more attention to myself and my own emotional spasm?

Wait. Remember Jesus waited three days after His brutal murder to set things straight. Waiting and watching are deep spiritual exercises that separate us from the beasts of this world. My Italian friends put it best when they say, “Let God handle the need for revenge. He is much better at it.”

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