Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Carrying Heavy Crosses

                “My Lord, my God, my Creator who knows everything, You know best what each of us needs on our journey to You. I think of those today whose burdens seem so heavy. I pray for them that rather than weaken under the weight of their crosses, that they can be strengthened and formed and thus shine with Your brilliant divine light of love.
                “I look at those heavily burdened people as Your chosen ones. You have selected them because they are able to stretch and grow while carrying their crosses, like Job in the Old Testament. You know their hearts and You know how beautiful they are. You know that by sending them down a path full of trials and tribulations, they will make it through with their hearts shaped and formed closer into Your image.
                “Dear Lord, Your journey as a man on earth began steeped in poverty, persecution and rejection as Mary and Joseph wandered through Bethlehem looking for a place to stay so Your dear mother could give birth to You, the Savior of the world. You could have paved the way of Your entrance into the world with honor, glory and protection but instead, You chose a path full of trials and tribulations and humbly set foot on earth through the womb of a woman in the quiet of a stable greeted only by Mary and Joseph and the beasts of burden You created to help serve Your beloved people. Your whole life was spent on the rocky path of trials and difficulties. The cross You carried at the end of Your human life was in essence, just a continuation of the cross You chose to bear throughout Your public ministry as You lovingly and patiently instructed Your people about Your Father’s will and great desire to spend eternity with all of humanity in great love. In Your awesome power, You could have delivered that message in such a way to instantly transform the hearts of all, but instead, You chose a more difficult way – You chose the cross. This is the example You have given us to follow.
                “Oh dear Lord, in Your wisdom and love, show us all how to be the people You created to dwell with You forever. May those You have chosen to carry heavy crosses see this as Your invitation to grow closer to You and to walk the path of trials and tribulations like You did. Instead of feeling burdened and reacting with sadness or anger, may they lovingly look up to You, allowing Your divine light to shine down on their faces. May they smile with joy and give You thanks for the crosses You have sent them. May they receive them with a grateful open heart, accepting the gift You send out of great love, knowing that it is exactly what that person needs at precisely that time. I pray that they can carry that cross joyfully into the blinding light You shine on their path to salvation and eternal life. Help me to see with Your eyes and to be like Veronica, wiping the faces of those carrying heavy crosses with love and compassion and a pure desire to help them make it to You.”

Marys and Marthas

                “Dear Lord, my loving Creator who made us all unique yet for the same purpose – to love You and to be loved by You, I humbly thank You for creating us with such diversity. There are Marys and Marthas in this world who love and serve You in such different yet vitally connected ways. (I am referring to Lk. 10:38-42, where he describes the sisters Mary and Martha who are entertaining Jesus in their home. Martha is working in the kitchen while her sister Mary listens to Jesus talking. Martha becomes a little frustrated that she is doing all the work while her sister listens to their guest.)
                "The Marys are those who stop everything to sit and listen, meditate and contemplate Your Word. They sit at Your feet with bright eyes and open ears, fully attentive, taking in every Word You send right to their hearts which are exposed, open and prepared to receive Your teaching. Marys don’t worry about what is going on outside of that exchange – they are focused on that moment of Your grace.
                “Marthas are the ones who make it possible for the Marys to stop everything and sit at Your feet. Marthas consider how best to prepare everyone else to receive Your Word. Marthas indirectly consider themselves in this process as well, but they are focused on creating an ideal environment, preparing the people and caring for You and those You have invited to share Your Word. Without the Marthas, the Marys would not experience Your blessings and grace as completely or purely.
                “The Marthas put everyone else first and for that I am very grateful. The Marys, so enriched, can then share these blessings and the beauty of these experiences of God’s teachings with the Marthas who have worked so hard to make this possible and for that I am very grateful.
                “Thank You Lord for the Marys and the Marthas who together, make Your presence manifest in everyone’s lives. Thank You for creating a balance of personalities in Your people so we can work together to create heaven on earth and to live out Your will in our lives as brothers and sisters united in Your name. I truly love the Marys and the Marthas as they both help us to see and hear You in our lives. Together, they complete the path to live out our purpose in life – to love You completely and to be loved completely by You.”