I recently saw this statue of St Francis of Assisi (outside the Santa Barbara Mission Church in California). It made me think think about how on the Cross, Jesus offers himself to each one of us. He invites each one of us to receive him as he is, and to share everything with him – and that means that we will suffer. But it’s a suffering out of love; it’s a suffering that has meaning.

Maybe another St Francis (de Sales) said it best:

“The everlasting God has in his wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that he now presents to you as a gift from his innermost heart. This cross he now sends you he has considered with his all-knowing eyes, understood with his divine mind, tested with his wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with his own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with his holy name, anointed it with his grace… taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you.”

About Fr John Pietropaoli LC

Fr. John Pietropaoli was born in Malone, New York. He entered the Novitiate of the Legionaries of Christ in Cheshire, Connecticut, in September of 2000. Following his religious profession in August of 2002, he studied Classical Humanities in Cheshire and Philosophy in Rome, Italy. He subsequently spent several years in Thornwood, New York, in a ministry internship and began his theology studies there in 2009. In 2011, he returned to Rome to finish his studies and was ordained a priest on December 15, 2012. In 2014 he completed a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Theology at Rome’s Regina Apostolorum University and is currently serving as the chaplain at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia.
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