FAQ: Why take up our crosses?
During Lent, we are sharing some reflections from our nuns on common questions about the Passion of Christ, redemptive suffering and penance, and some aspects of cloistered contemplative life. Read the first two FAQs here & here. We hope these may answer some of your questions, or help you to respond to the questions of others!
Question #3: If Jesus has saved us by His Passion, death, and Resurrection, why is it necessary for us to take up our Crosses?
Paragraph 1521 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Suffering, a consequence of original sin, acquires a new meaning; it becomes a participation in the saving work of Jesus.” So, suffering in and of itself is not a good thing. Jesus asks us to take up our crosses and follow Him, but not simply to bring suffering upon us. Jesus revealed the self-giving love of the Trinity in His Passion and Death. We can say that Jesus Crucified is the doorway or the portal to the Trinity. Suffering in our own lives can operate in the same way if we receive it in the right way. Suffering often causes a person to turn to God, but the person can also turn away. If we embrace the sufferings that God allows to come into our lives for love of Him, with trust that He always wills what is best for us, and in obedience to His will (just as Jesus did all of these things), then God will work in our souls in a transformative way and we become better prepared to share in the life of the Trinity, this life of self-giving love.