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Carrying the Cross (Kassidy)

Hello friends and family of those on the Laredo trip! My name is Kassidy, and I am an incoming freshman at the University of North Texas! This is my second year on Laredo, and I can say in full confidence, even though it is only Sunday, that this year's mission trip is much different than the last. In just the 48 hours that we have been here, we have had praise and worship, twelve hours of silence in order to prepare for Sunday Mass, and a time of silent adoration.

But there has been one thing weighing on my heart that we've done differently than in years past. Each small group received a small crucifix on Friday night that they were in charge of for the week. It symbolizes the cross that we are carrying for each of the families that we are working with this week. And the rules for this activity are simple: never put the crucifix down. 

It seems simple, but once we were faced with actually doing work on Saturday, I was struggling to stop what I was doing to hold Jesus. It's supposed to symbolize the sacrifice that we are making for our families. We had to stop what we were doing in order to truly bear the cross of our families. But, funnily enough, I found that this was not the hardest part... Saturday night, we had a 35 minute praise and worship session, and the crucifix had just been passed on to me. (...great.) I am definitely someone who enjoys singing with her hands wide open — ready to hear whatever the Lord has to give me during this time. And I would be lying if I told you that I was excited to be holding the crucifix during this time. Of course, I wanted to praise the Lord with my arms open wide — certainly not with a crucifix restricting my fingers from extending to the Lord. I wanted sooooo badly to place the crucifix in the chair behind me so I could focus on me — on what I wanted (selfishly enough) and then it hit me: there are times when I feel like Jesus wouldn't want to carry my cross.

When I sin, no matter how small.
When I don't spend my days radiating His love.
When I don't live out the Catholic faith.
When I don't proclaim that He is the Lord of Lords or the King of Kings.

But let me tell you — He did carry my cross all those years ago up to Calvary to die for MY sins. And He WILL carry my cross — for the rest of my time on Earth. So, the least... the very least I could do is carry the cross of those who I have chosen to serve this week. 

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