Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
February 26, A.D. 2004
Scripture from Today's Liturgy of the Word:
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
"Take Up His Cross Daily"
Welcome to Lent, a time to refresh the soul by spending a great deal of energy in examining and cleaning out the storerooms, wiping away the dust, and generally making the place fit for a King. Our King will come regardless of what it looks like, but nevertheless, we would do well to prepare Him a fitting room.
One of His commandments to us is that we should take up our cross daily.
Regarding this, C.S. Lewis has some very cogent advice in The Screwtape Letters, a fictional story in which Uncle Screwtape (a senior devil) gives advice to his "nephew" (a junior devil) about us, the living:
"What [God] means by this is primarily that he should accept with patience the tribulation which has actually been dealt out to him--the present anxiety and suspense. It is about *this* that he is to say, "Thy will be done," and for the daily task of bearing this that the daily bread will be provided. It is your business to see that the patient never thinks of the present fear as his appointed cross, but only of those things he is afraid of. Let him regard them as crosses: let him forget that, since they are incompatible, they cannot all happen to him, and let him try to practice fortitude and patience to them all in advance. For real resignation, at the same moment, to a dozen different and hypothetical fates, is almost impossible, and the Enemy does not greatly assist those who are trying to attain it: resignation to present and actual suffering, even where that suffering consists of fear, is far easier, and is usually helped by his direct action." (Screwtape VI)
The cross of the day is not what tomorrow will bring, but the *fear* of what tomorrow will bring. When we take that up and move forward, we are bearing our cross. The cross of today is not the work of next week, but the weeds in the garden in our front yard right now. The cross of today is not serving in the soup kitchen the second Tuesday of March, but smiling at the person we don't particularly care for when we pass them in the hallway today. In sum, the cross of today is today--not yesterday, not tomorrow, not next week, not ten years ago. When we take up the cross and live through one day at a time, we are walking with Jesus. When we sidestep the cross of today in preference to thinking about the distant past or future, we may be bearing a cross, but it is one that we have custom-fitted for ourselves and does little to advance our walk with the Lord.
So, day by day, walk with Him in love. Carry the cross of the day and it will be far lighter and more fulfilling than carrying our own phantom crosses--advertising our martyrdom for all to see.
(sriddle415 at yahoo dot com)
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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