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June 11, 2020

We Must Bear Our Cross With Patience (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke of Simferopol

Our life, the life of each person, is sorrow and pain. All these sorrows in our social and family life are our Cross. A failed marriage, an unfortunate choice of profession, don’t they bring us pain and sorrow? Shouldn’t people who’ve suffered these calamities have to bear them bravely? Serious illnesses, contempt, dishonor, loss of personal wealth, jealousy between spouses, slander and, in general, all the wickedness that people do to us, aren’t they all our Cross? That’s exactly what our Cross is, the Cross of the vast majority of people. These are the sorrows that afflict people and we have to bear them, even though most people don’t want to. But even people who hate Christ and refuse to follow His way, they, too, have to shoulder their own Cross of pain. What’s the difference between them and Christians? The difference is that Christians shoulder the Cross with patience and don’t complain against God. Humbly, with eyes cast down, they bear it to the end of their lives, following the Lord Jesus Christ. They do it for Christ and His Gospel, they do it for fervent love of Him, but the whole of their thought is caught up in the Gospel teaching.

In order to put the Gospel teaching into practice, to follow the path of Christ, people have to shoulder their Cross humbly and tirelessly. They mustn’t curse it but must bless it. Only then are they observing Christ’s commandment, because they’ll have renounced their self, will have taken up the Cross and followed Christ. They’ll have followed Him on a long road about which the Lord said that the way to the kingdom of Heaven is full of sorrows and that the gate where it begins is narrow. We would like our path through life to be broad, without pot-holes, stones, thorns or mud. We’d like it to be strewn with flowers. But the Lord shows us another way, the path of pain. What we need to know is that, on this path, however difficult it might be, if we turn to Christ with all our heart, then, in a miraculous and inexplicable way, He will help us. When we fall, He supports us. He strengthens and comforts us. Then we understand the words of Saint Paul, when he says: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”. Then the sorrows of this transient life will be very light for us.