STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. What does Jesus mean by that? Take up MY cross? What does my cross look like? Where can I find it? Look no longer, because you can find your cross in your everyday life.
I struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. Hour to hour, minute to minute. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have wished this cross away. I don't want to deal with it anymore, I'll tell Jesus. Please deliver me from this suffering. It's too hard.
No, this is not what the Lord calls us to do. When I wish away my anxiety, I wish away the special call that the Lord has brought me to take up. Even though dealing with anxiety is extraordinarily difficult, it is what makes me "me."
It means living a life accepting the hardships and coming to terms with them. Jesus fashioned a cross just for you to carry. When the Lord says He wants us to lose our lives, accepting our hardships is what it comes down to.
St. Faustina has been instrumental in teaching me how to accept my cross of anxiety. She's so holy that she THANKS the Lord for her suffering because it is what brings her closest to His Sacred Heart. In her weakness, He is strong. Even though I am nowhere near as holy as her, she has helped me to understand that the Lord fashioned this for me to draw me closer to Himself. My anxiety gives me the opportunity to trust even more.
We can find our cross in all walks of life. Every vocation has its struggles. Jesus calls for us to take up our daily struggles that we encounter in the moment, and it's really hard but completely worth it. Our crosses are only a sliver compared to the cross of Christ.
Let us try our best to take up our crosses daily, to accept the hardship as a sign that He wants us to grow closer to His Sacred Heart. The Lord understands our suffering!
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
Jesus, how can I best accept my hardships today?
How can I face them without complaining?
How can I make the Lord's love for me present today?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
Lord, I take up my cross today.
Jesus, I trust in You.
St. Faustina, bring me to Jesus.
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
If you are met with hardship today, don't ask God to take it away. Ask Him for a stronger back to be able to carry whatever cross comes your way.
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Sarah Lundgren.