Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lent: Sorrowful Tuesdays

The fourth Sorrowful Mystery is the Carrying of the Cross. From this mystery we are to gain the fruit of patience. Here's my take.

During Lent most Catholics participate at least once in the Way of the Cross. Catholics have elevated this Sorrowful Mystery to it's own prayer. In some opinions, we emphasize the suffering of our Lord more than the celebration of His rising. However, is it possible to do one without the other?

Although He was already suffering greatly, Jesus showed exemplary patience along His death walk. He fell only to fall again and again. He was given unwilling aid from Simon the Cyrene. Yet, He looked upon the women of Jerusalem and spoke to them. However, His words were not ones that are comfortable to hear. Jesus at this time was not all love and joy. No, at this time, Jesus was pretty harsh. He rebukes the women for crying for Him. Instead, He tells them that there are even worse days ahead.

A friend of mine used this scripture in a novel way (to me) in her post on Catholic Sistas. She linked the reference Jesus makes, "blessed are the barren, and the wigs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed..." to the current contraceptive, anti-child mindset. I thought this was genius, because I'd never really considered that verse before. However, it appears in Luke as well as in some of Jesus's earlier discussions in Matthew.

As I researched this verse I saw commentaries that linked it's meaning to the desolation of Jerusalem. However, I agree with my fellow Sista that it holds true today. It is often implied or even outright said that children are more trouble than they're worth, so don't burden yourself with them... Take this medication or precaution. In Jesus's time, barrenness was a great issue for women. Without offspring they were destined to have no one in their old age to care for them. They were replaced with fertile wives. However, today, barren women (except those fighting infertility) are held in highest esteem. These women have "taken control" of their fertility and are living their dreams.

I also found some modern blogs of infertile women grasping this verse as the theme for their journey. I just browsed a few entries and came away with the thought that these women get it. Children are a blessing given to us by God. Barrenness (childlessness) is not something to be praised or sought. Throughout scripture, God calls us to be fertile. There are occasions where barrenness was used for God's glory, but never was it the intended purpose of womankind.

It takes incredible patience to deal with this sign of sin (not personal sin, but generalized sin of Adam). Jesus displays His patience as do women who fight their infertility within moral limits. Women who "control" their fertility are impatient and shutting God out of their lives. So let us pray that we can all receive some measure of Christ's patience when dealing with our own crosses.

If you're looking to have more "control" over your fertility while maintaining morality, check out this link: http://r1rk9np7bpcsfoeekl0khkd2juj27q3o-a-fc-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/ps/ifr?container=friendconnect&mid=0&nocache=0&view=profile&parent=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.catholicsistas.com%2F&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Ffriendconnect%2Fgadgets%2Fmembers.xml&communityId=07392896805747272642&caller=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.catholicsistas.com%2F2012%2F03%2F26%2F6422%2F%3Futm_source%3Dfeedburner%26utm_medium%3Dfeed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed%253A%2BCatholicSistas%2B%2528Catholic%2BSistas%2529&rpctoken=1468124537

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