Crosses We Seek Ourselves
There are crosses which neither God nor others ask of us. They are the crosses of carelessness and irresponsibility, the crosses of shortcomings and vices.
by Father Nicolás Schwizer | Source:
1. To gamble with life: There are irresponsible people who often risk their lives by not wearing a seatbelt. Perhaps we are experienced drivers, but the true danger comes from others. On the road there are many inconsiderate people at the wheel. How many accidents occur because of excessive alcohol consumption, tiredness, risky maneuvers, or animals on the road? We all know persons who died innocently, were left mutilated or paralyzed.
A USA paramedic comments, “I have probably seen 2400 accidents, and I have never had to remove a seatbelt from a cadaver.” There are mothers who have children on their laps and do not wear seatbelts. “Ironically many mothers survive because the baby was crushed.” Anyone who enjoys this type of cross should continue not wearing a seatbelt.
2. To gamble with health: In one’s youth it is a fun game. As time passes, we have the flip side of the coin and it becomes a cross.
2.1 The cigarette. Advertisers want to have us believe that smoking strengthens our courage and importance. Nevertheless, psychologists would say that the smoker does not want to look at himself as he is. He hides behind himself and flees from the conflicts and tensions he must face. In the end, we await the cross of a painful illness or a premature death. The problem with the cigarette is that the harm appears after a long time has passed and it is too late to repair the damage. It deals with a true vice because it creates a strong dependence. We all know of someone who has repeatedly tried to quit smoking and has not been successful. Only God’s grace, and a will of iron can free us from this habit.
2.2 Food. For many it is a vice which in time becomes a heavy cross. So many people are not able to follow a diet in despite of being overweight or facing other medical conditions! When it comes to food, they cannot control themselves and lack discipline. Their intentions become failures. The vice is stronger than the will. We all know that someday nature seeks revenge and then we are sorry for our bad eating habits.
Many of man’s physical difficulties are related to the stomach and the intestines. The problem is that people will eat whatever they want not allowing for proper digestion. That habit not only obstructs the physiological system, but also poisons it.
(1) Do not eat too much or eat too little. Eat what is necessary.
(2) Do not eat so many times. Set aside time to have structured meas. Remember the German saying: for breakfast, eat like an emperor; for lunch, eat like a king and for supper, eat like a beggar.
(3) Eat slowly, that is, chew well.
(4) Never eat when you are upset. Eat with calmness and tranquility.
Let meals be a time of peace and joy, not time for arguments, reprimands!
Questions for reflection
1. Do I use my seatbelt or do I believe accidents only happen to other people?
2. If I smoke, have I really tried my best to quit smoking, that is, have I invited Jesus to help me overcome my addiction?
3. Do I think it is a reasonable proposition to watch my eating habits?
4. Am I willing to submit to God’s way of living rather than my own way of doing things?
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