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Story of the Man who Asked to Exchange His Cross

Once, a man tired of carrying his cross went to speak with Jesus complaining that his cross was too heavy and wanted to exchange it for a lighter one. Jesus led him to a grotto where there were crosses of every type and dimension, and he told the man to leave behind the cross he had been carrying and search for one that he liked better. The man left his cross and began to try out each one, but one was too long, another too heavy, another too short, and so on until he saw one in a corner … It was exactly what he had been searching for! It seemed made exactly for him! Full of enthusiasm, he turned to Jesus and told him that he had found the right cross! Jesus, with a merciful gaze answered him: “That was the cross that you left behind at the beginning!”

As our founder says in one of his meditations: “Lord, give us the grace to know every day which cross we are to carry, because if we feel tired and oppressed every day, that means that we have done something wrong. Either it could mean that ‘we have not yet renounced ourselves’ (cf. Matt 16:24b). Or, it could be that we have the wrong Cross, carrying upon us the tiring and oppressive cross of the world! (cf. FF 185)”

And what about us? Do we feel that our cross is heavy? Maybe it’s because we have not renounced ourselves? Or because we are carrying a cross that is not ours?

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