The path of virtue is painful to nature when left to itself; but nature, assisted by grace, finds it easy and agreeable.
– Venerable Louis of Granada
“Any cross would be easy to bear if we could only tailor it to fit ourselves. Our Lord’s cross was not made by Him, but for Him. Crosses and burdens are thrust upon us. Our acceptance makes them personal. Our Lord even said that there would be at least seven crosses a week: ‘Take up your cross daily and follow Me.’ Crosses are of two kinds: pure ones, which come from the outside, such as pain, persecution, and ridicule; and inner, or impure crosses, which come as the result of our sins, such as sadness, despair, and unhappiness. These latter crosses can be avoided. They are made by contradicting the will of God. The vertical bar of the cross stands for God’s will; the horizontal bar stand for our wills. When one crosses the other, we have the cross. Our Lord never promised that we would be without a cross; He only promised that we would never be overcome by it. St. Peter so loved the cross, that when the time came for his execution he asked to be crucified upside down. May He who was found guilty of no other crime than that of the excess of love, make us hate the load of sin that made His cross. The whole cross borne in union with His will and following in His footsteps is easier to bear than the splinters against which we rebel.”
– Archbishop Fulton Sheen