We are created to be eternally happy with God in Heaven. God will not take away our free will, so we must work out our salvation with God’s help. His help is not always understood. It is not unusual for someone to consider it cruel, heartless, and without mercy. On the contrary, what is given to a person (sometimes it’s called a “cross”) is always for the best and, if accepted gracefully, will be fruitful.
I can attest to that because for the greater part of a century I have witnessed firsthand many crosses sent, received, rejected, or accepted by various people, and it sometimes takes some effort to understand why it is that God sends them.
First, you must believe that God helps us in the best possible way, to find eternal happiness with Him in heaven. He is all-wise. As Sacred Scripture teaches us, He “ordereth all things sweetly.” Wisdom, 8:1.
As mentioned above, He will not take our free will away but He uses many means including crosses, to nudge us in the right direction to ensure our salvation. He does this in ways that may not be evident for many years. So, to understand His generosity and mercy, one may have to stop and reflect in hindsight, after many years.
Here are a few true incidents I witnessed over the years that demonstrate this generosity and mercy that were at first perceived as heartless and cruel.
Incident #1: Bill was as happy as can be. He was engaged to the love of his life and all was well. Or so he thought until his best friend stole his fiancée and ran off to get married by a justice of the peace. Bill was crushed, and questioned how and why God would do this to him. Years later, reflecting on what happened, he realized how foolishly and willingly he’d overlooked the woman’s bad traits, which had resulted in a bitter divorce from his best friend. And, consequently, that broken family had lost the Faith. Bill now realizes God’s mercy and thanks Him daily.
Incident #2: The big football game is Friday night and Roy expects to go to the game with six of his friends. But as it turned out, Roy was told there was no room for him; his friends found some girls who wanted a ride, and they didn’t want Roy around with his strong Catholic faith cutting into their “fun” after the game. Upon later reflection on what happened, he realized how merciful God’s “cross” was because they were all killed in a car wreck at 2AM the next morning.
Incident # 3: Mary was married, had a family, and was reasonably happy. She and her husband didn’t have much time for their Catholic Faith, but they tried to make Mass on Sundays. Then everything changed. Her husband got cancer. How could God do this to them? They weren’t “bad people”. They gave modestly to charities, paid their taxes, etc. Years later, reflecting on the results of the “cross,” Mary realized God’s wisdom in sending it to them because it had forced their family to re-evaluate their priorities, and now they are strong traditional Catholics and part of the Resistance.
It’s important to understand that any cross is sent to help you get to heaven and is not cruel in any way. God sends a cross when it is the best way to awaken you when you are about to risk your salvation. When God sends you crosses, thank Him for His mercy and generosity.
Don’t expect to understand why a cross is sent until the situation plays out, perhaps over a period of years. If you understand the real reason for the crosses sent, you will be a much happier person because you realize they are sent for the best, out of God’s great love and generosity.
Isn’t it comforting to know that your Creator is mercifully guiding you to earthly and eternal happiness with Him in heaven? Would you prefer that your life was decided by “luck” and the roll of the dice?
It is important to use and understand God’s wisdom in sending you the cross. You can do this by reviewing your current life and correcting your course. If pride takes over and you consider the cross as cruel and hateful, your unhappiness is assured, and your salvation in doubt.
So, embrace the crosses sent and thank your merciful Creator for the “heads up” for the correction you needed on your life’s course.