Why make a shame of the cross?

I became Catholic like St. Paul did: From the minute I encountered Christ, everything changed. I had a fiancé, four kids and three step children.

I was sure that after getting married in the Catholic Church, everyone around me would see the differences in my life and I would be Catholic forever.

I thought my conversion was the beginning of my happily ever after, regardless of how broken my life before the Church had been.

That isn’t quite what happened.

Instead, every new crisis adds to the stress caused by the multiple crises before it. And every time, I find myself looking up at the crucifix, wondering why I ever thought that this Catholic thing was going to be so easy.

I’ve tried so many ways to get me and everyone in my life acting how I think we should. I don’t get mad at God anymore because I’ve learned, after trying it plenty of times, that that really doesn’t help anyone. But I’ve tried everything else.

In one bout of despair, I stopped going to Mass; at another time, I went to all the Masses. I’ve prayed the rosary and novenas; I’ve talked to priests and talked to therapists. I have set up GoFundMe accounts and seen the love of God in action when people donated, and I’ve felt the loneliness when people didn’t.

There is absolutely nothing that I haven’t tried in order to relieve in “the Catholic way” some of the consistent struggle and pain of life.

What I am coming to realize is that this struggle is the Catholic way.

Most stories of the saints are tidied up; they give the impression that saints never did anything wrong. That isn’t Catholicism.

Saints are human; they had their struggles and their sins. Being a saint doesn’t mean doing no wrong; it means loving Jesus enough to take our wrongs to Him, and trust that He will make something out of us anyway. Continue reading

  • Leticia Ochoa Adams describes herself as ‘a hot mess convert who loves Jesus and has a scandalous sense of humour’. She writes at www.letiadams.com.
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