For the Fridays of Lent we will be posting excerpts from St. Josemaria Escrivá's "The Way of the Cross". This is from the Fifth Station, "Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross":
"Jesus is exhausted. His footsteps become more and more unsteady, and the soldiers are in a hurry to be finished. So, when they are going out of the city through the Judgement Gate, they take hold of a man who was coming in from a farm, a man called Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, and they force him to carry the Cross of Jesus (cf. Mark 15:21).
In the whole context of the Passion, this help does not add up to very much. But for Jesus, a smile, a word, a gesture, a little bit of love is enough for him to pour out his grace bountifully on the soul of his friend. Years later, Simon 's sons, Christians by then, will be known and held in high esteem among their brothers in the faith. And it all started with this unexpected meeting with the Cross.
I went to those who were not looking for me; I was found by those that sought me not (Isaiah 65:1).
At times the Cross appears without our looking for it: it is Christ who is seeking us out. And if by chance, before this unexpected Cross which, perhaps, is therefore more difficult to understand, your heart were to show repugnance... don 't give it consolations. And, filled with a noble compassion, when it asks for them, say to it slowly, as one speaking in confidence: 'Heart: heart on the Cross! Heart on the Cross! '
Do you to know how to thank Our Lord for all he has done for us?... With love! There is no other way.
Love is with love repaid. But the real proof of affection is given by sacrifice. So, take courage!: deny yourself and take up his Cross. Then you will be sure you are returning him love for Love."
St. Josemaria Escrivá, pray for us!