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On Carrying a Cross: A Reflection for Lent

Text from a speech by His Eminence, D. Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy
Photographs of Scenes of Holy Week in Jerusalem by Paul Souders


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This world, we are well aware, is not a Paradise,
and we are not going to make it heaven on earth.
Heaven on earth is not for now.
But there are improvements,
mighty improvements,
improvements we all dream about
– and that are possible,
that could conceivably be made,
and in our time, and by us.

And I say to you – why not?
Why not get busy making these improvements? Why not?

When Christ was going up to Calvary he needed help with his cross.
He could have called upon twelve legions of angels to help him,
but he did not want to do this.
Any of us would have been glad to help him,
but it was not our time,
and we could not be there.

There was a man coming in from the country, named Simon, a man from Cyrene.
He was the one in the right place at the right time.
The time and the place were right, then, for this man Simon.
If God had wanted us there at that time,
He would have put us there at that time.
But he put us here – and now!

It is not an accident that we find ourselves “passing this way but once”–
making our once–forever passage through life – now, in the age of the post
Vatican Council, the age of the permissive society, the age of protest, of painful
renewal and re–thinking, in the age of Biafra and Bangladesh and Burundi.

It has not happened by chance.
This was planned for us before the stars were hung in the sky.
God saw this as a time for us,
the time when we could best serve,
the time he was going to need our help to carry his cross.
This is our glory – that he wants us here now – nobody else.

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His Eminence, D. Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches.



Tags: Eastern Christianity Easter