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My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord.

The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; Remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me.

But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent;

They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Good is the Lord to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him; It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord.

The Cross

The Cross is our hope

Through the Cross we earn salvation

Salvation is a gift

Because of the Cross of Christ

We have to be come worthy of it

It is a free gift not a free ride

Suffering

All people suffer

A pilgrim verses a tourist

A pilgrim knows his destination

A tourist wanders and seeks pleasure along the way

The journey is the destination for the tourist

Not the pilgrim, there are delights, but they are inconsequential compared to the destination

If the delights on the journey do not delight the tourist, the trip was a failure

Not so the pilgrim

Today is the Exaltation of the Cross

How can I exalt the Cross? I feel a great emptiness around me, grasping for relationship. I am alone.

I was raised in the Church but not raised in suffering. So for me Paul says, “How could you be so stupid? After beginning in the spirit, are you now to end in the flesh? Have you had such remarkable experiences all to no purpose—if indeed they were to no purpose?”

We are in exile. I am without a home. I am estranged.

Why minimize the suffering? Let us just say it for what it is.

When I was so young, God worked amazing things in my heart. He brought amazing people into my life. He delighted me with his love.

Now, I am not even old. I am still young, and I shutter to think that I have so many more decades to live. I hope they will not be like this past year.

But he did not draw me out for nothing. He did not woo my heart for nothing. Would I have union with God apart from suffering? In all that consolation, it felt like it. And then I married. And my spouse was my consolation. And my children were my consolation.

Sunday I saw the beauty of my life and my home and my children and my capability. Monday I saw the beauty of my marriage and delighted in my spouse. I saw why I married him. I did not need to write because I did not need courage. Tuesday I saw the delight of the little things and saw past small disappointments. Tuesday afternoon, the disappointments began to grow and it felt heavier on my back. Tuesday evening, I knew something was wrong. “It will never end,” I say inside my heart. “When will it end?” I ask the Lord.

That is something in itself. I pray the traffic will clear. I pray it will end. I pray for the future. There is something much much deeper in my prayers than ever before.

I try to make sense of this and try to find some courage. And our Lady at the Cross is there. Seven years ago this night I miscarried. It was 3am. Since then it has always felt this feast day was for me. I finally have the current volume of the Breviary with me and went online to see the week in Ordinary Time. And there were the readings for the day: The Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Christ showed us the way.

I do not understand it. I will keep trying.

I laughed last night…heartily and with a friend. God does give consolations. What more can I say? I must not run from contemplating the cross.