Spiritual Gems of Elizabeth Ann Seton: the Cross
If you find that there are any obstacles in your way -- and doubtless you find many, as every Christian does, in the fulfillment of duty -- still persevere with yet more earnestness, and rejoice to bear your share in the cross, which is our passport and seal to the kingdom of our Redeemer.
I was cold with the awful impression my first making it gave me -- the sign of the cross of Christ on me! Deepest thoughts came with it of I know not what earnest desires to be closely united with Him who died on it. Oh, that last day when it is to be borne in triumph!
If our Lord suffered us to bear our misery alone, without affecting the dearest part of ourselves, we would not suffer like Himself, whose whole suffering was for us and the injuries endured by His eternal Father.
Human life and sorrow are inseparable.
God is with us, and if sufferings abound in us, His consolations also greatly abound and far exceed an utterance.
But first the battle must be won, the thorny road passed over. Look up! He is ever a witness of your struggles. Put all your trust in Him.
In the hour of manifestation when all this cross-working will be explained, we will find that in this period of our poor life we are ripe for the business for which we were sent.
The bright and glorious cross which we now drag alone through the mud and dirt, how beautiful and lovely it will appear when we shall find that it opens the door of our eternal happiness for us. Follow on with courage!
In all our trials we must remember that there is an all-wise Creator to direct and a Jesus to recompense our pains.
When the heart is all His, how easy are pain and sorrow; rather pain and sorrow become purest joy.
Meet with joy every contradiction.
What are pain, poverty, reproach? Blessed Lord, they were all once Your chosen companions, and I reject them as enemies, and fly from the friends Thou sendest to bring me to Thy kingdom.
O Mother of Sorrows, as thy children, we are most at home with thee at the foot of the cross. Give every moment of our sufferings to our crucified Savior that He may count our pains with His. Make us trust all to Him, and some day we shall see how good and tender He has been to us to give us the thorny crown.
O holy Virgin, help us to remember that afflictions are steps to heaven. If we did not see the hand of God giving us this means of atonement, what aching hearts we would often have! But not so, for we use our sorrows in reparation for our abuse of grace, and we look to eternity for the enjoyment of perfect love.
The reward of sacrifice is peace.
If this be a rough and thorny path it is the one which Thou has tread.
You think life long and tedious -- look to the eternity of bliss to repay it.
We must walk on resolutely, though the way is rough and strewn with thorns.
How sweet it is that we suffer with and for Jesus. My soul truly rejoices. The cup is at first bitter, but in it there is an unknown delight for those who truly love.
Not only willing to take my cross but to kiss it, too.
We must learn the hard lesson of submission, and once this has been accomplished, everything that comes after will be rendered easy.
This fire of tribulation is no doubt meant to consume the many imperfections and bad dispositions our Lord finds in me. Indeed it has at times burned so deep that the anguish could not be concealed; but by degrees custom reconciles pain itself, and I determine, dry and hard as my daily bread is, to take it with as good a grace as possible. When i carry it before our Lord sometimes, He makes me laugh at myself, and asks what other kind I would choose in the valley of tears than that which He Himself and all His followers made use of.
The cross of our dearest Lord is the desire of my soul. I will never rest until He is mine.
Poverty and sorrow -- well, with God's blessing, you too shall be changed into dearest friends. To the world you show your outward garments, but through them you discover to my soul the palm of victory, the triumph of faith, and the sweet footsteps of my Redeemer, leading me direct to His kingdom.
The wintry storms of time shall be over, and the unclouded spring enjoyed forever. So, you see, with God as our portion there is no sorrow in the soul that waits on Him, though beset with present cares and gloomy prospects.
You think you make a sacrifice! Look at the sacrifice of Calvary and compare yours to it.
It sometimes lessens personal sorrow to compare our condition with that of others.
Patience and perseverance are the only ways to gain the blessings of heaven.
Your sufferings press hard. Then look at your sins.
In the severest pains I fervently pray our Lord to give me still more, and to purify and prepare me for Himself. Where would I be now if He had not scourged and bound me? What matter by whose hands? If I get to His kingdom, what matter how? Faith, faith, my dear friend! The Captain marches on. Oh yes, we follow, we follow!
I am sick but not dying, perplexed but not despairing, afflicted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed, knowing the afflictions of this life are but for a moment, which the glory in the life to come is eternal.
It would never do to have hearts and fortunes sink together.