Then Jesus said to his disciples: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works." (Matt. 16:24-27)
CARRYING THE CROSS IS BOTH NECESSARY AND MERITORIOUS: It was to all men that our Lord said (Matt. 16:24): "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." Whoever, therefore, wishes to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ must take up his cross daily and follow the Lord, or, in other words, he must patiently bear all labors, burdens, and sufferings. The story of Simon of Cyrene shows us what a blessed and meritorious thing it is to carry the cross after Jesus. At first he strove against the honor imposed on him, considering it to be an indignity. Soon, however, he was seized with compassion for the Divine Sufferer, and from that moment he carried the Cross with joy. By the labor of love which he performed for our Lord, he obtained the gift of faith, and was consecrated bishop by St. Peter.
[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)