Jesus Carries the Cross
Fruit of the Mystery: Patience
Neither Too Heavy nor Too Light
by Natalie Gonzalez
Last year for Lent I prayed the sorrowful mysteries for 40 days straight. It was absolute torture to daily walk the path to my salvation through the death of an innocent man which I am very painfully familiar with now.
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery is the Carrying of the Cross and the fruit of this mystery is Patience. I usually read along while I pray the rosary from a book called The Contemplative Rosary. I’ve owned it for a little while now and the pages are tattered and torn because of how often it is used. One of the meditations for this particular mystery says something so profound. I read it each time I get to this particular mystery, which is oddly my favorite.
It says: “The cross I have been given has been hand-tested by Christ so that it will be neither too heavy nor too light.”
Each time I read it I am humbled greatly by those words. Today is no different.
I’ll be honest. Today is a really crappy day. It’s the day before this blog is due and frankly I would rather throw this phone at the wall and forget I even promised I would write it. I was going to use something I had already written but it just didn’t feel right.
No matter how many times I started to write…I couldn’t get anything out. The words didn’t come.
I’d rather crawl in bed and cry. I have nothing to give. I’m so tired and so sad. I’m ready for this day to be over already but I have to get up, get the kids dressed for Mass, sit through it without bawling hysterically, avoid my priest so he doesn’t ask what’s wrong then come home and make it until bedtime.
I know what’s bothering me are all lies of the enemy. I know I’m a good mom and wife. I know. But I’m tired. Dramatic as it may sound the only thing I’ve done since I woke up today is cry and pray.
Is it hormones? Maybe. Am I just too sensitive? Definitely. Or am I truly going through some sort of existential crisis?
The closer I get to God the farther I feel I am pushing away the people I love most. I take a step forward toward our Lord and it leaves those who I cherish most behind me. Am I being a good example or am I abandoning them?
Saints have cried out for centuries these same pangs to our Heavenly Father. For their loved ones, they pray that their souls are not jeopardized. They pray that their cries are heard and not in vain. And they walk through life just making it to the next prayer, even when they feel it is falling on a deaf Lord.
They carry a cross so heavy and they fall down, then they get up, they fall down then they get up. They fall down….I think you get the point. And it’s laboring and exhausting. But they persist with the confidence in knowing that Christ our King suffered far worse than we.
I was once told that patience is long suffering and was discouraged from praying for it. I took this advice and stopped praying for such a thing immediately. Instead of patient, I became bitter and resentful. Until I found the book I mentioned above.
In our quest to be holy we fall and fail constantly. It is our lifelong way of the cross.
We have to look to the exemplar of patience, Christ, and draw our strength through Him who suffered so we can be free. This is the most I’ve written in months. It isn’t much but it’s all I have to offer today and I hope that it helps at least one person to know they are not alone.
No matter the cross you carry today, I hope to be like Simon of Cyrene on the road to Calvary, I hope that this will help you carry your load whatever it may be. And if you can, try to carry with you today these words:
“The cross I have been given has been hand-tested by Christ so that it will be neither too heavy not too light.”
Be safe. Be great. Be YOU.
About Natalie: As a once self-described Atheist, I’m just here to give my testimony of redemption and faith, grit and grace through words that only began to flow out after being baptized 7 years ago. When I’m not pecking away on my phone in a corner writing, I’m managing a small army of children on our family farm, which is slowly but surely filling with animals and new adventures.
I strongly advocate self-acceptance and often highlight my own struggles with mental health while focusing on the realities of navigating raising a family in this modern world. I am a mediocre homemaker and take pride in my marriage my kids and my journey. Find me on Instagram as @thecussingcatholic and let’s change the world! One curse word at a time.
Be safe. Be great. Be YOU! Amen