As I’m typing this, my cockatiel, Gus, is trying to pull the keys off the keyboard. I have to keep chasing him away … but he’s a persistent little buzzard. I’m fond of him … he can be good company … but there are times I wanna wring his scrawny little neck.
Now why am I bringing Gus up? I was sitting here thinking about Jesus’ saying in Sunday’s Gospel about taking up one’s cross daily, and thereby finding life. Is Gus a cross? Yeah, he can be … in some ways he’s just like a toddler who gets into everything. He’s already damaged two I-Pod wires and one keyboard beyond repair. Both were Apple products and those are not cheap to replace.
Now Gus is waaaay down the scale when it comes to daily crosses. There’s no comparison with those who suffer chronic illness; they understand fully the meaning of a daily cross. A widow friend writes about feeling overwhelmed by all the little things that need to be done, and which her husband used to take care of. But the daily cross isn’t necessarily restricted to those kinds of thing.
Hardly a day goes by, for example, when there isn’t something or someone that grates us the wrong way, and we have to try our hardest to be gracious. There are times we don’t want to do something, yet we know it has to be done. We stay in jobs we hate because we need the benefits. We weed the flower bed even though we’d rather be sitting in a lounger drinking a cold drink. I stub my toe in the morning, and it bothers me the rest of the day. A spouse wants to talk, or a child wants to play, when all we want is some peace and quiet.
In other words, I’ve come to see that we human beings can handle the big things fairly well. It’s the little annoyances that crop up each day that bug the heck out of us … we have a hard time accepting them graciously … and those are the things that can progressively lead us to new life in Christ if we but accept them graciously.
Love deeply, laugh often, pray faithfully!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.