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Jesus: "My beloved priest-companion, tell My people that they must keep the lesson of the cross fresh in their consciousness. Remind them that I am the Christ of the Cross as well as the Christ of the Resurrection. I suffered tremendously on My way to death on the cross. My sacred flesh was so cruelly lacerated by the scourging. My sacred head was so cruelly and mockingly crowned with thorns. I was spat upon and made fun of. Exhausted by terrible suffering, I still had to carry the heavy cross to Calvary. There My sacred hands and feet were mercilessly pierced with nails. Oh, what pain this caused Me!
"I suffered all this most willingly--out of love for My Father and for all My people! Through My cross, through My suffering, I obtained new life for My people. Through My cruel and brutal death, I achieved Resurrection for Myself and all My people. My suffering was not an end in itself. It was a necessary passageway to obtain the life I came to give.
"My people must share in My cross, so that they may share more and more in My life. Remind My people, My dear friend, that suffering, when embraced according to My Father's will, leads to greater life here and hereafter. The cross, properly carried, always leads to a greater share in My Resurrection.
"Tell My people that the more they are united with Me in love, the easier is the carrying of the cross. The more one dwells in Me, the more I help that person to carry the cross. In this way, even the heaviest cross becomes relatively light.
"Carrying the cross does not mean to be in misery. Carrying one's cross in union with Me always allows a person to remain in peace. The cross does not take away peace and joy. Despite the pain involved, the cross gives increased peace and joy. I am Lord and Master. I eagerly desire that all listen to My words and live them!
"My people, come each day to My Heart and I will give you the light and strength to carry your cross according to Father's will! I love My people with an overwhelming love, and in this great love I give them this message."
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Reflection: One does not have to reflect on the human condition for very long to be reminded of how much suffering exists in all parts of the world. And yet, the great tragedy concerning human suffering is not that there is so much of it, but rather that so much of it is apparently wasted. In God's plan, suffering is meant to lead to greater life, a greater share in Christ's Resurrection here and hereafter. Suffering does just that, if we relate to it according to God's will. To the extent we don't relate to the cross as God's will would have us, we miss the opportunity for suffering to be growth-promoting.
Jesus tells us about the cross and its linkage to life in the Gospel: "Then to all he said: 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross everyday and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it'" (Luke 9:23-24).
And St. Paul tells us: "We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body" (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).