Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Christian Heritage - June 23 - Carrying Our Own Cross

In the gospel Christ commands us all to take up our cross. He does not tell us to take up another's, but bids us to carry our own. He does not wish a nun to neglect her duties as a religious and burden herself with the cares of a married woman; nor does it please him for a married woman to neglect her household duties and turn into a nun. The married man pleases God by being a good husband; the friar by being a good religious; the merchant by running his business properly. Even the soldier serves God by showing courage when circumstances demand it, and by being content with his pay, as Saint John says.

And the cross which each of us has to bear, and by means of which we are to attain union with Christ, is the very duty and obligation imposed on each one of us by our state of life. Those who fulfill the duties of their condition do God's will and accomplish his purpose. They win an unblemished name and reputation and, as though by the labor of the cross, reach the rest they have merited. On the other hand, those who neglect their obligations, however hard they may labor to fulfill others which they have taken upon themselves, waste their efforts and forfeit their reward.

Luis de León (AD 1527-1591), O.S.A., La Perfecta Casada, 7-8

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