“Need any help?” … Tuesday, January 1

Station 5: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

Station 5: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross (Photo credit: bott.richard)

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, the Carrying of the Cross. “And bearing the cross for Himself, He went forth to the place called the Skull.” John 19:17. Ever been in a situation where you honestly needed help? Maybe at work, with both hands full and needing a third one? Or with emotional struggles, needing a willing ear? If we’re human and honest about it we’d have to say that at some point, regardless how talented or self-reliant we are, the answer is yes. And there’s certainly no shame in asking. But sometimes we need to learn the hard way. For years I’d never ask for help. If I couldn’t do it, or hire someone else to do it, then it would by necessity go undone. (“I wouldn’t talk about myself half so much if I knew anyone else half so well.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~) Being stubborn, or “manly”/”macho”, earned me three shot discs. So I’ve learned the hard way, with the nerve damage to prove it, to ask for help. Jesus had help, a little later, along the Via Dolorosa. He had fallen several times by then. When Simon of Cyrene came along Jesus didn’t refuse the help. If God can accept help why can’t I be humble (humility equals honest self-evaluation) enough to do the same? If Jesus, having taken on flesh and blood for our sake, could set aside His Divinity so to speak (Philippians 2:7), why can’t I admit my human frailty and either accept help when it’s offered or ask for help when it’s needed? Why would I choose a bad back instead? What price pride? Everything Jesus did was for our edification. He set THE example. If any person, any saint, is a good example its only because they follow His. 1 Corinthians 11:1. Even the Blessed Virgin Mary, who said “Do whatever He tells you”, knew her own advice was sound because she’d experienced this reality herself when she said “Yes” to God at the Annunciation. She also said “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to Thy will” because she knew she needed help, His help, to be the Mother of God. Please note her words, “Thy will”. If Mary can admit the need for help and I’m a child of hers ought I not learn from my mother? Whats the realistic alternative? Falling on the way to Calvary and not being able to get up, to get there, not being able to make the needed sacrifice? Jesus needed and accepted help. Mary needed and asked for help. Jesus accepted human help, Mary requested Divine assistance. We need God, we need each other.

Today … St. Odilo. A monk at Cluny, Odilo became abbot in 994. He practiced great austerities, and sold church treasures to feed the hungry poor during a famine in 1006. While he was abbot he greatly increased the number of abbeys dependent on Cluny, and with Abbot Richard of Saint-Vanne was responsible for the acceptance by the French of “the truce of God” and the rule guaranteeing sanctuary and safety to those seeking refuge in a church. He was devoted to the Incarnation and the Blessed Virgin. He inaugurated All Souls’ Day with an annual commemoration of the departed faithful, and experienced ecstasies. Sick for the last five years of his life, he died while visiting his monasteries at a priory at Souvigny on January 1. He had been an abbot for more than fifty years. He had the help of fellow monks, other abbots, and the laity. He didn’t do it all himself. No saint ever does. He accepted, and no doubt asked for, help. Much of what he did would’ve never gotten done otherwise. He followed the same example that we should, 1 Corinthians 11:1 again, and in that we’re safe in following his.

And … HAPPY NEW YEAR! During the coming days of 2013 please do have happy ones. And on those days that aren’t so happy maybe all you need is a little help. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask. In asking you bless another in giving them the opportunity to serve and grow. I don’t know that any of us has the right to deny this grace to someone else. And at the very least you’ll save your back and won’t have to take three or four Soma everyday like I do. 😉



  1. “If God can accept help why can’t I be humble (humility equals honest self-evaluation) enough to do the same?” I need to remember this. Happy New Year, Jude-Marian and thank you.

  2. Happy New Year to you too. God has given us another year to follow Him. Hopefully I’ll indulge more in self-improvement and less in McDonald’s. 😉

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