St. Therese Society

a group of college and young professional women in St. Louis seeking to deepen their spirituality and grow in holiness while discerning a possible vocation to religious life

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri

"Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places...in a word, that it was eternal! My vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!"

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reflection on Simon the Cyrenean

In a Lenten hymn we hear the words: “Under the weight of the Cross Jesus welcomes the Cyrenean.” These words allow us to discern a total change of perspective: the divine Condemned One is someone who, in a certain sense, “makes a gift” of his Cross. Was it not he who said: “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me?”

Simon receives a gift. He has become “worthy” of it. What the crowd might see as an offence to his dignity has, from the perspective of redemption, given him a new dignity. In a unique way, the Son of God has made him a sharer in his work of salvation. Is Simon aware of this?

The evangelist Mark identifies Simon of Cyrene as the “father of Alexander and Rufus.” If the sons of Simon of Cyrene were known to the first Christian community, it can be presumed that Simon too, while carrying the Cross, came to believe in Christ. From being forced, he freely accepted, as though deeply touched by the words: “Whoever does not carry his cross with me is not worthy of me.” By his carrying of the Cross, Simon was brought to the knowledge of the gospel of the Cross. Since then, this gospel has spoken to many, countless Cyreneans, called in the course of history to carry the cross with Jesus.
--Pope John Paul II, April 2000

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