Traditional Catholic Crosses and “Monkeys On Our Backs”

Each person has his own cross.  We only know of our own, or maybe the ones some people might have shared with us.  But the reality is, most people are suffering in someway and alone.  This is because they are afraid, ashamed or embarrassed to let others know that they are suffering or what they are suffering from.  Some suffer alone because they are kind people who do not want to burden others with their suffering and problems.

Journey Of The Cross And Icon Takes Place In SydneyThe fact is that this includes most people that surround us right now; at church, home, school or work.  They are suffering inside, from their own problems or of those who are dear to them.  It could be any situation; marriage problems, sickness, depression, mental problem, vice, or financial difficulties that they are going through right now.

For this reason, we traditional Catholics need to be compassionate.  We need to be kind and cheerful to everyone around us, even when we do not feel like it.  We should try to listen and be there for those who are suffering.
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In this way we can be a small comfort to those who maybe suffering alone and in silence.  Our prayers, love and concern, for these people, concretely help them endure and go on.

Crucifixion_Christ_on_the_Cross_DELACROIX_Eug_neJesus has suffered beyond our imagination.  All His friends, the saints, have suffered greatly too.  So it helps to meditate on how suffering is a good and not an evil.
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Padre Pio_ChalicePadre Pio said:

‘The more you are afflicted, the more you ought to rejoice, because in the fire of tribulation the soul will become pure gold, worthy to be placed and to shine in the heavenly palace.’

St. Theresa Of Avila said:

‘I would always choose the path of suffering, if only to imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ, if there were no other gain.’
St. Paul of the Cross said:

‘If you desire an efficacious remedy for trouble and inquietude of soul, invoke the holy name of Jesus.’

Sta_Rosa_de_Lima_por_Claudio_CoelloSt. Rose of Lima repeated what Jesus taught her about suffering:
“Would that mortal men might know how wonderful is divine grace, how beautiful, how precious; what riches are hidden therein, what treasures, what joys, what delights. If they but knew, surely they would direct their energy with all care and diligence to procuring sufferings and afflictions for themselves. Instead of good fortune all men everywhere would seek out troubles, illness and suffering that they might obtain the inestimable treasure of grace. This is the final profit to be gained from patient endurance. No one would complain about the cross or about hardships coming seemingly by chance upon him, if he realized in what balance they are weighed before being distributed to men.”
So let help others in their suffering and bring them to Jesus and Mary, the greatest source of comfort and understanding.
But let us also remind them, while reminding ourselves, most of our suffering comes from our own rebellious actions we are committing right now against God’s laws and will.  Almost all suffering comes from our sins or the sins of those around us.
There will always be suffering, but why exasperate it?  It is one thing to suffer for being obedient of Jesus and being persecuted for it.  But it is a lot harder to endure suffering we caused ourselves by the evil vices we have indulged in or other sins we have committed.
I call the suffering we go through everyday:
  • temptations,
  • remorse,
  • shame,
  • bad thoughts,

that are the consequences of things we have done or seen in our youth: “Monkeys On Our Backs”.   We, by our looking for prohibited, sinful pleasures and knowledge, put these monkeys there.   And, in most cases, we will have to carry them around, and be harassed by “these monkeys on our backs” until we die.

monkey-on-my-backI try to warn the youth; “Do not open the door of forbidden pleasures.  If you do you will have those monkeys bothering you for the rest of your life.”  Parents, God parents, priests, friends, family, Grandparents and teachers, please warn those with whom you have any influence, “Please do not put Monkeys on your Back”.
The Monkeys we put there by sinning are:
  • the devil,
  • shame,
  • bad thoughts
  • bad dreams
  • bad temptations.

Two good things about the suffering from the sins of our past life are that:

  1. they humbled us
  2. and remind us that we are sinners in need of Jesus’ forgiveness and grace to sin no more.

Crucifixion_stained glass4We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be able to know where suffering comes from, what causes it, and how to offer it up with Jesus on the Cross, and Mary under the Cross.