“O you souls who wish to go on with so much safety and consolation, if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering and how much it helps in acquiring other good things, you would never seek consolation in anything; but you would rather look upon it as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord.” – St. John of the Cross
The idea of suffering in life can be tackled from a myriad of different angles. I know for the longest time, I believed suffering was embedded in the idea of mental weakness, though this belief was fostered while in a state of comfort. Its easy to hold lofty beliefs when we are comfortable; when we don’t know suffering.
The above quote touches on an interesting idea. That through suffering, greater things come to us. I sat with the idea this morning that the events which have unfolded in my life recently, which I would say has brought me some degree of suffering, has transpired because I was missing something very important in my life.
I was not being present in my life; in my thoughts, words, and actions. And God heard my inner plea to be awakened from my “sleep” which was producing stagnation in my life.
The anxiety, sadness and fear I experience daily, I now see, is the “gnashing of teeth” from my ego. The ego thrives off false security and comfort; off ignorant living. If things can be kept in the dark, all the better.
“Taking up the Cross of the Lord”, for me, means to bear the suffering you are going through with the intention of letting it take from you what no longer serves the higher purpose of your life. The will of God is our perfect happiness, perfect peace, perfect joy. However, when we let our ego’s drive the cart, we take ourselves away from this state of perfection.
Therefore, through our suffering, we are stripped of what the ego has made., and what remains is what God created.
The Cross of the Lord is His will for us.