How can we accept our Cross? By viewing and adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar; speak to Him and ask Jesus to allow you to offer up all your suffering and life's trials. Ask Him to allow you to extend yourselves together with Him on the Cross. True love knows no separation of any kind. His afflicted Mother, Mary, our Mother too, united herself with Him on the Cross, let us ask her to help us be strong, strong enough to join Jesus in His supreme suffering on the Cross. We should pray—therefore, together with you, Our Blessed and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, we offer ourselves to the Eternal Father, accepting our own Crosses, as we become one with your Will, with your Love, with your reparations, with your very heart and with all your pains.
Jesus endured suffering on the Cross for the sins of the world. His suffering would leave anyone speechless. At the pillar where he was scourged, he wasn't just flogged but His flesh was ripped open so that every lash of the whips with hooks at the ends was a hammer-blow that kept Him reeling. Why was all this necessary? In order to answer that question we must ask ourselves why the world, in which we all have a part, has so transgressed His teachings. Let us pray—my crucified Jesus, we see you bathed in blood. The souls of all of mankind, from the very first man to the last yet to be born, we see in your suffering, in the Blood you shed for the world to redeem the world. Each act of reparation, of repentance, atonement, courage and holiness, represents salve upon your open wounds. My Love, how willingly would I take your place to spare you so much pain. My Jesus, I fuse myself in the wounds of your hands, your feet, and your Heart. Please shield me there from temptation as we, too, are attacked in our desert on our path of life. Let my thoughts be ever upon your holy suffering when I'm attacked so that I may remain resolute in my promise to be obedient to you and to your Holy Church. My dear Lord, to relieve and to soothe your pain, we offer you all of our charitable acts, and the holy works of all your creatures.
As your walk to Golgotha, bearing the heavy Cross of our sin, is completed, you are crucified and I am crucified in you. Do not permit me to become separated from you. May I always be at your side, making reparation to you for everyone, to soothe the pain caused by my sins and the sins of all throughout the ages. I ask for your mercy and compassion for everyone in the world. It is never too late. The good thief on the cross, moments before his death asked you with sorrow for his sins; that you have mercy on him. You replied that he would be with you that day in paradise. Let us remember that it is never too late. That if we're on our deathbed and we're not in the State of Grace please give us the presence of mind to whisper a prayer to you, an expression of regret for a sinful life, a prayer of recognition of your Divine Majesty, that you are the Christ, the Son of God. Then, as you did with the good thief, please answer that plea for grace, that appeal for forgiveness.
As we suffer together with Jesus Christ on the Cross, we'll learn the true meaning of the Cross and the limitless power of His love for us. He accepted His Cross for us. Now we must do the same for Him!
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Written in 1998