“Christians must lean on the Cross of Christ just as travelers lean on a staff when they begin a long journey.” So wrote St. Anthony about life in Christ.
What is the function of a staff? A traveler back in St. Anthony’s time used a staff to steady himself, to help in climbing, and even to defend himself if necessary. It was an important element of their trip and often saved a person from losing his footing.
Our journey in the Christian life is not much different. What does it mean to lean on the Cross?
When we encounter hostility and respond with love, we are leaning on the Cross. When we share a friend’s suffering with a caring shoulder and a listening ear, we are leaning on the Cross. When we receive Holy Communion in the midst of tragedy to show the world that we still believe, we are leaning on the Cross. When expose ourselves and our failings to our Savior in the sacrament of Reconciliation, we are leaning on the Cross. When we try to live the Beatitudes in all their simplicity and depth, we are leaning on the Cross.
St. Anthony knew how much we needed the Cross to steady us, to help in reaching the summit, and to defend our faith. This day let us take up, and lean on, the Cross of Christ.
St. Anthony, pray for us!