Suffering through and with Christ

As Christians, we are all called to carry our cross as Christ did: but what does this mean? Does it mean that we say we are willing to suffer, but only a little bit? Is the suffering on our terms? Do we leave ourselves open to the suffering only to complain once it comes?

My friends, I am the worst of the complainers–I have often begged the Lord to let me follow him and to let me suffer and carry my cross, but when the suffering comes, I am whining and complaining that it is too much. What a hypocrite I am! If I am to truly suffer with Christ, I need to be about being a joyful sufferer. That is an easy task when things are going well, aren’t they? When I am having a great day or week or month, I take His love and providence for granted. But when things get rough, I am complaining and crying and begging for mercy–as if I have the right!
It is my prayer that I will learn through my suffering to embrace it as all good and all holy and use it as an offering like sweet incense to the Lord reaching to His heavenly throne.
Lord I complain sometimes when I have a little misfortune, a wound or when I am sick or tired, rejected, despised or persecuted. 
But you were covered through your entire body with painful wounds;  you were pierced with pain by the crown of thorns, you were stripped of your flesh by the scourging, you were insulted with terrible blasphemies, you were spat upon, you were humiliated, you were inflicted new wounds upon your wounded shoulder by the crushing weight of the cross, you were inflicted more wounds upon your wounds by the brutal stripping of your garments, you were pierced painfully by the nails on the cross, you were hanged upon the cross to bleed painfully to death, you suffered asphyxiation as you found it very painful to breathe, and yet your physical agony was only part of your suffering compared to your spiritual agony because you are God, and your holy soul was sorrowful unto death as you surrendered your life in exchange for our eternal life.  
 You saw the ingratitude of men for your great sacrifice, and you suffered for the pride of our sins, for the aggressiveness of those whom you created with so much love, for the hatred of men who always receive all your love if only they come to you.  

My Lord Jesus crucified, I come humbly before you, everlasting fountain of healing and life, Powerful source of our Resurrection, food for our souls in the Holy Eucharist, eternal refuge of Divine Light, gate to the Majesty and Glory of the Father and our only hope and salvation.  
Divine Merciful Lord, I pray and beseech on behalf of all humanity for your Mercy  and compassion, for your healing and blessings and for your Salvation.  
Oh Precious treasure from Heaven, you who are hidden to the proud, fill my heart with humility and purity that I may be worthy to receive the promises of everlasting life in your Glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.  

Lord into your Sacred Heart I place my heart united to all my needs and desires, 
I present humbly  my petitions, please deign to listen to my plea, embrace me with your love, respond to my soul, look at me your child who comes attracted by your love. 

My Lord Jesus; In your crucified body I reverently place my sinfulness, my sicknesses and those of the people that I pray for; since you bore our diseases and infirmities, since you endured our sufferings and paid for our sins. Please dissolve them in your mercy; grant me these petitions in your holy name and in the name of your sorrowful mother, my mother. Amen.

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