Embracing the Cross

Some thoughts from a conversation with a friend....

Her thoughts: I hate conflict for my own selfish reasons-I want everyone "to like me"...it's truly a self-love, so I think God was telling me-I want your arms outstretched-I want you in uncomfortable waters in your defense and love of me...so there it is-see what I'm getting at?-be not afraid to stretch out your arms.

My thoughts: I was struck by the image she brought to me, that in opening ourselves from silent to vulnerable we do get wounded and "crucified" in a way. I need mortification and that's how God sends it.

Two spectrums - Is it as generic as introvert/extrovert?

I come back to a conversation from my past with a friend from a former parish who felt that we should pray more about adoration and that it might be greedy and overstepping to work/take action for more adoration hours than we had. In that I was reminded that yes, I must trust God more, I must pray more but I also thought... God DOES work through people to get His work done!

He needs hands, He needs voices. Sometimes we must act and be God's instrument. Sometimes, we must question our impulsiveness and pride....

It's a hard balance to know when to shut up. So many examples of quiet, holy people. Yet, many examples exist of those who also open themselves to speak the hard, uncomfortable words... martyrs in heaven...living witnesses, Father Corapi -Fr. Eutenueur - Archbishop Burke. They aren't concerned with how others will judge them, not worried if others will attack them.

God gives us each different talents and different crosses. I must embrace my cross, THIS I do know.

Father Eutenueur said, "It is He whom you serve. It is He in Whose place you stand. To be bland and uncontroversial is a very poor way to imitate Christ. They don't put you on the cross for mediocrity."


regan said...

so beautiful and so true, allison. i had a similar conversation with my aunt the other day, a fallen away catholic, who is hurting, yet doesn't understand the concept of accepting suffering and WHO exactly we are doing it for....have a blessed weekend!

Christine said...

Love the pictures and stories. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah said...

It's a balance to know when to be quiet and when to speak up. Some of us are naturally called to a more quiet witness, and some are called to be more outspoken. And maybe sometimes we are called to be a little of both ... It is not in my nature to easily speak up—to stretch out my arms—I fear I won't have the right words or I won't make any sense. But recently, I had two encounters where I really had to be a vocal witness.

One was with a very worldly woman who couldn't get over the fact that I'm a SAHM of 5 children ... AND I'm happy! She really drilled me about it. And I had to be strong in my responses. The other was with a Christian (but not Catholic) woman who I had JUST met. Our talk was on family planning (you can imagine, right?!) I couldn't just remain quiet and nod my head. I had to gently say some things that defended my beliefs (openness to life and trusting God's will without coming down on her OR looking like I'm crazy-LOL). My husband, who is more well-spoken on these topics, gave me confirmation that what I said was good. Praise God!

I guess whatever God calls us to do (quietly pray or speak out), as long as we do it in love and prayer, as prompted by the Holy Spirit, He will bless us!

+JMJ+ said...

Hi ladies and happy MOnday!

Sarah and Regan, thank you for sharing your stories of speaking up and how hard it is to do but that your love of the Church aided your defense.

It is sooooo inspiring to others. Don't we all feel so emboldened when we hear of a priest or bishop or cardinal that speaks up and defends the Truth? It's like that, it is as envigorating as that to me.

I understand the prayer gifts of others and they give me peace but I +need+ to hear less silence from Catholics too, thank you for your witness and may the Holy SPirit continue to guide you!

Melissa from MN said...

Thank you, this really spoke to me today and the blog I just posted. My Growing in Grace blog has been about my "Out Loud" faith life, and has just a few people upset with me. It's been ladies like you and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that have helped me make the leap from quiet faith to living it out loud. Being a verbal soldier for Christ. It's certainly not easy, and sometimes a little lonely, but this community of women helps bring it all into perspective. After all, who are we living for, them or God?

God bless you all, no matter your calling.

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