It seems that the closer I am to Jesus the easier life becomes. I realize that what matters is Him and the rest is ephemeral. So I just carry my cross in faith. And I put my life in His hands, willing to listen and do what He wills me to do. Although, this is a complete surrender, I actually feel more in control of my life than ever…because I have Him in control of it. I seem to have such joy and peace – even under the same circumstances that in the past would have caused me anxiety and preoccupation. So when it is said that to be very close to Christ one must suffer much. Or I have heard it said that to if you want to be close to the cross then you need to be willing to take a splinter. I do not see this part in my journey. I guess, I do suffer more, in that I am more aware of things around me. People will do or say things and I worry about them and the offense they do to God and others and this saddens me. I am becoming involved in ministries that come with heartache . And I guess there is also some initial suffering as I cleanse (allow God to cleanse) the secular and selfish crevices of my heart. But other than that I do not see the greater suffering…am I just not at the point of closeness?
Below is a quote I found while looking for another for you. You may find the entire web page on Redemptive Suffering to be of benefit.
“At the beginning of my religious life, suffering and adversities frightened and disheartened me. So I prayed continuously, asking Jesus to strengthen me and to grant me the power of His Holy Spirit that I might carry out His holy will in all things, because from the beginning I have been aware of my weakness.” [p. 56] She later writes; “From the moment I came to love suffering, it ceased to be a suffering for me. Suffering is the daily food of my soul.” - Diary of Saint Faustina
One perspective would simply be to calmly accept where you are right now. Life can change in an instant, as I’m sure you know, some things might happen that are beyond your control but can affect you tremendously. And then again maybe nothing tragic will happen in the future. You sound very thankful for the joy and peace he has given your soul. His goodness is sweeter than honey. Some people do have that joy and peace even when they feel the full weight of their crosses. I know nothing of your life or your experiences, pleasant or heart-breaking, but keep close to him regardless. God bless!
I am more conscious of sin, and sins I have committed, before I resumed my faith. In some ways, it is painful to look back and see how selfish and self-serving I was. But now that I have God back in my life, I am not reluctant to examine my life. I know He will forgive me and guide me, and I can always turn to Him for help. I know there will be suffering in my life, because all life has suffering in it, but I feel like I won’t have to bear it alone. Also, I seem to like people a lot more - I feel more forgiving of them. I think for me it’s mostly a feeling of having someone very powerful by my side.
“Unless a man takes up his cross and follows me he is unworthy to be called my disciple”.
You are part of the priestly people of God through your baptism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that your baptism incorporates you into Christ’s threefold office of priest, prophet and king. A priest is someone who offers sacrifice. God’s people offer themselves through all the sufferings in their lives as sacrifice to be incorporated or joined to the sufferings of their eternal high priest for the redemption of the world.
Saint Augustine said that this is the cup of medicine no one would dare put to their lips unless the physician had first drunk it to the bottom. Jesus tells us to take up an instrument of torture, suffering and death, or we are not wothy of Him. Gulp! Our reponse is He can not really be serious, but He is unequivocal. he says it more than once.
The joy is in being part of Jesus work, being willing to give your life for others. Jesus gathers all of our suffering together. We offer it to Him at the Mass. He then turns to the Father and offers this as sacrifice joined to His own.
We see throughout the Old Testament the concept of sacrifice. With Cain and Abel we see acceptable and unacceptable sacrifice. Yours is acceptable, because it is united to Christ’s perfect sacrifice when you worship at Mass. So you hear the old Catholic saying, “offer it up”.
This all sounds pretty gruesome to some. Jesus did not say take up your surfboard and skis and golf clubs and follow me. He said take up your cross.
When we live for others, not ourselves, we become happy. The joy in life is giving ourselves and of ourselves. People who try to indulge themselves in rich things and sensuality find unhappiness. People who die unto self find happiness.