How to lighten a load. Really … Friday, Febrauary 22


Crosses (Photo credit: istolethetv)

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, the Carrying of the Cross. “And you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:29-30. No one goes out looking for a trial or hardship. We don’t need to, do we? Living takes care of that for us. To live in this world is to be guaranteed a cross. This isn’t doom and gloom, although it can be. It’s just a fact. Living can be difficult. We have to put up with the world around us and the people in it and we’re one of them. Why does it need to be so hard? And the answer is that it WILL be hard but that it CAN be easier. Jesus promised us a load to carry. There’s our cross, whatever it may be specifically for the individual. But He also promised us a “light” burden, didn’t He? So, how does that work out? Probably there are any number of ways but the one that is all to human, and therefore the one that doesn’t work, is simply trying to rid ourselves of the burden. We wrestle and make twists and turns and try to shrug off our cross and all this does is make the whole thing harder. So we moan and bewail our fate. And the answer to making the whole thing easier, the cross we carry lighter, even making our burden a “light” that we can see by and one that gives us honest guidance, the answer is right there in front of us. Jesus. What did He do when they placed the cross on His shoulders? Well, what He DIDN’T do is the beginning of the insight. He didn’t try to get out from under it. In no place are we ever told, not in the Holy Bible or in Sacred Tradition or in any official Church ruling or in any private revelation, that Jesus EVER tried to put the thing down. He may have fallen under its weight, and He did, but He never attempted to lay the cross aside. That’s what He DIDN’T do. What He DID was to carry His cross. Willingly. And there is the obvious answer and the one that will lighten our load. Follow His example. And in this instance His example is as simple as it is profound. What is guaranteed to make our cross lighter? Acceptance. It is no more complicated than that.

Today … St. Aristion was a martyr and disciple of Jesus, one of the original seventy-two sent out into the world. Aristion preached on Cyprus and is listed as a martyr in Salamis. Other traditions list his martyrdom at Alexandria, Egypt. OK, so lets add it up. As a follower of Jesus he had to walk dusty roads and put up with everything from insults to injuries. He would’ve suffered a great deal out in the world, trying to evangelize pagans who most of the time just wanted him dead. Deprivation, persecution, all ending in martyrdom. All this is just a thumbnail sketch of a life filled with one cross after another. But he kept going, accepting all of this as just part of his journey with Christ. So, did he EVER get to lay his burden down? Did he EVER come to a place where he could just rest? He spent his life with and for Jesus. Now he spends eternity with Jesus. There’s our answer.

Consider … In the practice of acceptance our cross is our best teacher.



  1. Oh how we like to get “rid of those crosses.” You know through the last year of my life, I have learned they are such a blessing in the end. We learn so much from them. Though tough at the time, to accept them and go on, is our greatest peace! Excellent post and always! God Bless, SR

    • You know what they say. “No pain, no gain.” 😉

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