Why does our Lord show us His Heart surmounted by a cross? It is to remind us that the whole of His passion was summed up in His Heart, which was the seat of suffering as of love. The sufferings of His body were indeed great; the most holy victim was insulted, torn, wounded in a thousand ways. "From the feet to the head, His body was but one wound." And be assured, that the sufferings of His soul, the unseen wounds of His Sacred Heart, were still greater. The cross had its place in His heart before it was erected on Calvary; for, during His life, He burned with the desire to be baptized with the baptism of blood He was to receive on the cross. "I have a baptism wherewith I am to be baptized: and how am I straitened until it be accomplished" (Luke. xii. 50). Yes, it was His Heart that first suffered, which was filled with bitterness, was torn and sacrificed. Listen to the cry of anguish that was heard in the garden of Olives: "My soul is sorrowful even unto death." Oh, how overwhelmed, how crushed must this tender Heart have been for Him to give utterance to such words, He who was so courageous under suffering; and let us not forget that the love of Jesus for us was the cause of all He endured. "He loved us and gave himself for us." "O Lord! exclaimed the seraphic St. Francis of Assisi, "it was love that caused Thee to descend from heaven to earth, and induced Thee to pass in the world as one despised. In Thy life and death Thou didst show forth a boundless love; it was love that raised Thy cross, and love nailed Thee to it; Thou wert its slave and victim!"
Christians, the cross is the daily bread that your heavenly Father fails not to provide for His elect. "Without the cross and the Blessed Sacrament I could not live," were the words of St. Margaret Mary; and truly each day our hearts need a certain amount of suffering to detach us from this miserable world and conform us to Jesus, our head. Refuse not then this cross, these thorns, these nails, which make your life a painful martyrdom; for each wound of your heart, each torment of your soul, increases your likeness to the crucified Redeemer. Accept, as coming from the hand of your Lord, the cross He gives you to carry; the soul which knows the value of the cross, delights to suffer, and love softens suffering by remembering that Heaven is its reward.
A pious and devoted mother was at the point of death; her cure was hopeless unless she submitted to a fearful operation, which the surgeons recommended her to undergo. Wishing to live for her son’s sake, but above all in order to secure the salvation of her only child, the courageous woman placed herself in the hands of the doctors. Her son, at her desire, was present, and she witnessed, without shuddering, all the preparations for the dreadful ordeal. At that period the producing of insensibility, through the agency of chloroform or ether, had not been discovered; even if it had, she would most; probably have refused to place herself under its influence; she possessed a spiritual opiate more powerful and efficacious. The terrible operation began; not even a sigh was heard, nor did a cry escape her; but just at the finish, when the sharp edge of the knife approached too near the heart, the poor woman moved slightly, and gently murmured: "O my God!" It was then that the son, in a frenzy of grief, at the sight of the lacerated breast which had nourished him, uttered a blasphemous imprecation. "My son," said his mother, "be silent; you give me more pain than the operators, for you insult Him who strengthens and consoles me;"and opening her hand she showed him a small crucifix she held, to which she owed the courage she had shown. After several mouths of great suffering, this heroic woman died, blessing her son, and saying to him: "Keep my cross, it has given me such consolation." The crucifix has ever since been preserved respectfully in the family, and it became for her son the most precious remembrance of his pious mother. Christians, afflicted souls, preserve the cross of the Heart of Jesus, and it will comfort and save you.
O Jesus! when I meditate on the motives which should induce me to love and attach myself to the cross, I feel ready to embrace sufferings of every kind; but when they present themselves, I am dismayed and my courage forsakes me. Sometimes even I give way to impatience, murmuring and discouragement. Grant me grace, O Jesus! to be resigned and patient under all the afflictions it may please Thy divine providence to have in store for me Amen.
Begin from today onwards accepting trials with patience. Start with the small tribulations such as waiting in line with patience or not rushing past people and work up to the greater.