Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent - 11th December
'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.
Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'
As Catholics, we do not expect our life as Christians to be free from burden or struggle. In Matthew 16:24 we are told that “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.” We are not expected to leave our crosses by the wayside, nor are we told that they will be eliminated from our lives. Instead we are told to take up that cross and follow Christ. This is the great stumbling block of faith for many people, the expectation that a life of faith is one without suffering. What is forgotten, however, in this attitude is that we are not alone in our journey, and we are not carrying our burdens alone. Christ is journeying with us, in our joys and our sadness He is with us and He is there to help shoulder your burden.
Christ suffered so greatly for us, to redeem us from our sins. In our sufferings we are united with Him, with His great sacrifice. St. Faustina said “Suffering is a great grace; through suffering the soul becomes like the Saviour; in suffering love becomes crystallised; the greater the suffering, the purer the love.” In suffering we find the deep love that Christ has for us, the love for which He suffered so!
Advent Advantage: Reflect on suffering, and in particular on the following passage from the diary of St. Faustina:
“One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end of the road without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And there numbers were so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings."