I have been reflecting on some things that Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan wrote. Cardinal Van Thuan was taken captive in the Viet Nam war and held prisoner in solitary confinement for almost a decade. He asks us about pilgrimages and processions.

Wouldn't we be willing and joyfully take part in a pilgrimage for Jesus?
Wouldn't we be most willing to walk in procession in his name?
And, if we were asked to carry the banner or cross at the front of the procession, humbly leading others along the way...all for Jesus...wouldn't we?
Wouldn't we love this opportunity? Wouldn't we jump at this chance?
So too then, the good Cardinal writes, should we be so in our daily pilgrimage...our daily procession...our daily activities....wherein our life and its day-in and day-out duties and responsibilities are the "procession";  and the "banner" we are asked to carry is that of
our own individual crosses!
We are on a pilgrimage...we are in a procession in Jesus’ name.
And, we should embrace each sacrifice we are asked to make, each cross we are allowed to bear, just as willingly as we would rise up to carry that banner in a street procession for Christ!

Does this mean we must never fall? Of course not.

Does this mean we must never cry or cry out for help or support? No.

Does this mean we must like the crosses we are asked to carry? No, but in Christ, there is always hope and always joy, for his promise is true and therefore, no matter what we face, what we go through, what burden we bear, or suffering we endure...even amidst it (though we might not see it at the time) the joy of Christ remains.

The little things we can do each day in sacrifice can become the "banner" at the head of our "procession"....

1) Being kind to someone who is not kind to us

2) Remaining silent when we are falsely accused or persecuted

3) Praying for those who have hurt us

4) Carrying out our tasks and duties without complaint

5) Serving our family as though we were serving Christ, himself

6) Taking on more work to lift the burden of another

7) Smiling (Yes, this can be a sacrifice if we don't really feel like smiling or we are smiling at someone who is rather cold to us)

8) Offering small acts of self-denial

9) Giving 100% to our vocation

10) Putting the needs of others before our own

Sometimes it's easy to slip into feeling that we "are not doing enough" for the Lord.
However, in reality, all that he expects is the best that we can give. Whatever we can give is good with him; so long as we give it in love and forhis glory; that includes just waking up and carrying out our simple daily tasks and duties with a joyful heart...

Let us rise up and carry the banner of our daily pilgrimage processions with joy!

Copyright 2010 Judy Dudich