Charlene Rack discusses Jesus' challenge to take up our cross daily.
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”
We’ve read this verse so many times, it’s lost its thunder. It’s a difficult prescript to faithfully adhere to, especially when the really heavy crosses come our way. We pray our daily Guardian angel prayers, we ask for protection and healing for ourselves and our family members, hoping this will inoculate us from the worst of our worries, but the truth is, the Cross is our means of salvation.
No matter what the world may say about “doing whatever makes you happy,” Christ has spoken clearly regarding what He expects of His followers. We must take up our cross “daily” (Luke 9:23) to purify our souls and become more Christ-like.
Thirteen years ago, when I found a lump in my breast, I was certain that it would just be a hematoma, from a fall I suffered while on a hike. Doctors weren’t really sure what it was. A few weeks later, I nonchalantly returned for the follow-up mammogram, believing all was well. Before I left the hospital that day, I was scheduled to meet with a surgeon four days later.
I was not ready to pick up the cross of cancer, but it was placed solidly on my back. As treatments continued, I became very sick and depressed. I would lie in bed day after day for hours, just praying one Hail Mary after another. I carried that weight by way of constant prayer and the support of many faithful friends.
Every day is a gift, but also a cross (a gift in disguise). Jesus is our only way to eternity, where we will reach the fullness of who we’re meant to be. Lift up your daily cross and live!
Walk with me, Jesus, as I shoulder today’s cross, while trusting completely in your loving Mercy. Open my eyes to others around me who might need help with their crosses.
Copyright 2022 Charlene Rack
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About the Author
Charlene Rack grew up in the "heartland," moved south to Cincinnati, married a Catholic man, converted to Catholicism, and had three children. Along the way, she's planned many mission trips, youth groups, and pilgrimages to the March for life for teens and young adults - all carried out with her goofy sense of humor and her enthusiastic sense of adventure. Read her blog at Grandma’s Coffee Soup.