“It is easy, indeed, to place a veil before the eyes, and to work with the head bowed down; but patient endurance of wrong proves who is truly humble.” –From “Sermon in a Sentence: A Treasury of Quotations on the Spiritual Life; Vol. 5: St. Thomas Aquinas,” pg. 104. Selected and Arranged by John P. McClernon.
This lesson struck me very hard today. At work I was discussing with my boss some injustice–an expectation that another faculty member has of us workers and how unrealistic they are. My boss knows there is not much she can do about it. I expressed how infuriating those expectations are. We should not be expected to do something that we are not really supposed to do, right?
That may be true. But still, even in the face of real injustice done to ourselves, we must bear it patiently. Me expressing what was already known in angry terms did nothing to help the situation. It just served to get me angry. In response to my anger, my boss calmly said, “I just try not to let it get under my skin.” She understood the reality of the situation, but chose to deal with it patiently, and was gently reminding me to do the same. Then I came across this little lesson and my heart was struck.
Of all the examples of unjust suffering, Our Lord is the best. He took upon Himself without complaint the burden of the Cross, and was crucified for our sins, OURS, not His–sin could never be found in Him, so of course, it was ours. He prayed for those who cursed Him and mocked Him as He hung in agony upon the Cross. This, also, is what we should do, blessing those who curse us, taking upon ourselves our daily crosses with love and with patience, bearing them to whatever end God has in store for us. Then we will be truly humble. And some little cross as having to deal with faulty expectations? I should not complain, but should rather embrace it as a cross that God Himself has fashioned just for me, and treat it as the means by which God will make me a saint–because that’s what each of our crosses are. They are hand-crafted by a loving Father Who seeks to make us more like Him each day. Our crosses teach us true humility and draw us closer to God–but we must let them do their work upon our souls.