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In our daily struggles to be better Catholics and Christians, we cannot separate ourselves from the cross and Calvary. The cross appears to us under various guises such as annoyances, distractions, and events that we may not be able to understand. Yet they are there to remind us that nothing is given to us easily in this life.

Indeed, every saint has had to bear some cross during their lifetime. I am reminded of St. Rita and how her vocation to the religious life was thwarted by marriage and then by the refusal of her superiors to accept her because of her age. Yet St. Rita persevered in her vocation and managed to convert her abusive husband as well as her sons in the process. Yet here was a woman who bore many heavy crosses and bore them with fortitude. The intense suffering of her life made her united to God so much that she was given a thorn from the Crown of Thorns that she bore on her forehead for the rest of her life.

I am also reminded of St. Alphonsus Liguori and the tremendous sufferings that he underwent during his later years. The arthritis in his body was so crippling that he was not able to lift up his own neck and it was extremely painful for him to write with a quill. Not only this, but the Redemptorists managed to split in half during his lifetime and he died in disgrace. Yet this suffering bore tremendous fruit as well for St. Alphonsus and for the Church. Without his intellectual gifts and his writings, we would be much more poorer had he not persevered through his pain and suffering.

Let us remember to bear our crosses patiently and to remember by doing so we can bring forth much fruit.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

St. Rita of Cascia, pray for us!

St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, pray for us!

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