I often hear about “offering it up” and bonding your sufferings with that of Jesus on the cross. Does this mean that we should pray for suffering, or only that we should just accept the suffering that we are given?
Your cross will come soon enough. Be sure to have plenty oil for your lamp.
LETTER TO THE FRIENDS OF THE CROSS
St. Louis de Montfort
A Friend of the Cross is one chosen by God, from among thousands who live only according to their reason and senses, to be wholly divine, raised above mere reason and completely opposed to material things, living in the light of pure faith, and inspired by a deep love of the Cross.
A Friend of the Cross is an all-powerful king, a champion who triumphs over the devil, the world and the flesh in their three-fold concupiscence. He crushes the pride of Satan by his love of humiliations; he overcomes the greed of the world by his love of poverty; he retrains the sensuality of the flesh by his love of suffering.
A Friend of the Cross is one who is holy and set apart from the things that are visible, for his heart is raised above all that is transient and perishable, and his homeland is in heaven; he travels through this world like a visitor and a pilgrim, and, far from setting his heart on it, he looks on it with indifference and tramples it underfoot with contempt.
A Friend of the Cross is a glorious trophy gained by the crucified Christ on Calvary, in union with his holy Mother. He is a Benoni or Benjamin, a child of sorrow and of the right hand, conceived in the suffering heart of Jesus, born from his pierced side, and baptised in his blood. True to his origin, his life embraces the cross, and death to the world, the flesh, and sin, so as to live here below a life hidden with Christ in God.
In short, a perfect Friend of the Cross is a true Christ-bearer, or rather another Christ, so that he can truly say, “I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me.”
Not to deliberately cause crosses, by one’s own fault
- Do not deliberately contrive to bring crosses upon yourself. We must not do something wrong in order to bring about something good; nor must we, without a special inspiration of God, do things badly so as to draw down ridicule upon ourselves. Rather we ought to imitate our Lord, of whom it was said, “He did all things well,” not indeed out of self-esteem or vanity, but to please God and win over our fellow- men. And if you fulfil your duties as well as you can, you will find no lack of opposition, criticism and ridicule, which will be sent by divine providence without your choosing or wanting it.
Saint Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil, may God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O’ Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into Hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
We accept the crosses God gives us to bear with the strength & prayer that we will endure.
Suffering comes to all of us. We don’t need to ask for more even though we may go through times of such great love for God that we wish to suffer more.
We also have degrees: small suffering and irritations to ones we feel that we can’t carry. All can be offered.
As for ‘offering up your suffering’ and uniting it with Jesus- the only examples I have that might clarify are secular in nature.
Do you have a family member or a friend that has suffered and you have suffered with them? Cried with and comforted them? Been there when they are in need? The same applies to Jesus.
Do you have a sports team you love? Have celebrated a great win or been upset over a loss? Same applies to Jesus.
This was the kind of answer I was looking for. Thanks.