Catholics/Taking up my cross


Thank you inadvance.  I'm currently struggling with taking up my cross (facing a severe health issue) and trusting that this may be God's will for me - or throwing myself at the mercy of the Lord to take this ailment/disease away.  I always teach my children and students (CCD teacher) that it isn't what happens to you in life it is how we react to what happens to you.  I realize that Jesus did have help from Simon carrying his cross (but he didn't ask for it).  I just feel that I can't do both - that I either have to accept this disease (and physically fight it myself) OR pray for healing not both.  I also feel that if you have the deepest faith you would not worry for one moment about the disease and accept everything that comes your way.  I don't know if I have that strength.  (I realize this could be a test and I don't want to fail)
Thank you!

It's more even than how we react to what happens to one, but what one simply does.  Reactions, after all, are not about personal initiative, which is often the domain in which our divine purpose is fulfilled.
Praying for healing and asking for the power to accept the problem as is are not mutually exclusive.  Unless there is some clear divine direction (visions, angels appearing, or at least that special "inner witness" that we can know is God speaking into our hearts, or "nudge" of the Holy Ghost, and in this sort of case, also cleared with one's spiritual director) to accept some cross as though we are meant to be a "victim soul" (and such have existed, that might be something worth looking up), one should not bypass any reasonable remedy, ranging from praying for healing clear to any practical (and ethical) medical help available.
In our prayers however, we are simply asking for two things, one being for the healing itself and the other being for the grace to bear up under the condition until what time if any the healing occurs.  Leaving it all in the hands of God is quite the opposite of deciding what God is going to do by insisting upon one or the other alone.  If you truly were to "accept this disease" then even to "physically fight it" would not be a part of that.  We ask of regular doctors for their help, why not also ask of God?  There really is no point in asking of one and not the other.  Sometimes, the biggest cross is not the condition itself, but not knowing (and not being for us to decide) whether any healing (divine or otherwise) is forthcoming.  For that cross it is always profitable to pray for strength in.
In my own experience, I have often found that generosity of soul is a truly great source of strength.  In such generosity of soul we might do for others things we would never do for ourselves, because we care about them (thereby exhibiting God's love for them) and leave it to God to care about us.  If you can rejoice in the happiness of others, then that is your fulfillment and the source of your strength.  Most of all, find out what God wants, what makes Him happy.  It is good to want to teach others, and perhaps God has such a role for you in mind, and I don't mean merely that of a "CCD teacher" which role can be taken from you, but of being a saint, which state, condition, or role no one can take from you.
Study the lives of the great saints of the Church, and then also study their writings.  Finally, study that Faith itself for which they all gave so completely of themselves and even suffered and died.  And by that, I mean seek out the ancient and older "classical" catechisms and theological manuals, for there is much that they believed and knew which seldom finds mention these days.  In that, God will show you so much of what He is doing, not necessarily so much in your own life, but in the life of the Church, which brings us back to that generosity of soul which is so important.  To be so caught up in that life of the Church is the one thing that brings one beyond our own problems, enabling us to endure them with more grace ("yes that hurts, but never mind that, this is much more important..."), or even to find that miracle temporarily withheld until the right time comes.  For myself, I struggled with something for many years, but only had it solved when I had fully found and embraced the fulness of the Gospel as divinely meant to be known and understood by us.
Finally, regarding tests, in a certain sense everything that ever happens to us, good or bad, is some sort of test, since our entire life on this earth is probationary; we are sinners awaiting salvation, not (yet) glorified saints deserving and recieving immediately all that one can wish of God and that He would have for us.
I hope this helps, God bless!


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Griff Ruby


I focus on the "why" and "how" questions of the Faith and one`s need for the Church to overcome sin, live the life God wishes us, and to become what God wants us to be. I seek to provide insight and information such that you are then able to see for yourself the answer to your questions.


Years of extensive research, thought, and prayerful meditation on many of the issues that trouble Catholics today, taught catechetical classes to teenagers and adults, answered many questions already.

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