When and why did moaning under one’s cross becoming synonymous with “whining?” Life on this side of the veil is hard, most grievously hard. Christ knows this very well. He does not sneer at His little ones who cry piteously over what in eternity amounts to a stubbed toe or missed dessert. Rather, in His mercy, He hears the groans of His Elect, those who bear His Name in Baptism, and has compassion.
Indeed, God, for the sake of Christ, lifts His countenance upon us as we muck about and stays His righteous wrath. Instead of floods, hellfire, and stonings, He provides for us the softest, gentlest of graces: a Holy Mother Church, who patiently and lovingly hears our sobbing and soothes our consciences with Words placed into her most beautiful mouth by Christ Himself.
And thus are we taught to hear the suffering of others. Dear sisters in Christ, it is not necessary to coat your face in colorful Plasticine and intone tired American lies about how lucky you are to have the Eschaton somehow immanentized in your heart. Rather, let us receive what God has given, and then do as our Mother does. It is good, normal, sensible, and poetic to see your sin and the sin of your children, and to speak it out of darkness that it may wither and die in the light. It is good, normal, sensible, and poetic to hear patiently a sister speak of her struggles, and to direct her toward her good Mother, who is a fertile land abounding with milk and honey and who will feed her the very salvation of her soul.
It is not good and far from poetic to harbor your misery or to treat with complacence the cries of your fellow Christian. Life is difficult and filled with storms we cannot understand. Even the smallest of thunderclaps finds its impetus in sin, and it was for even the smallest of peccadilloes that our Christ died. Every cramp of flesh and soul is of importance to our Savior, who does not hesitate when we call for help but immediately puts out His hand and draws us out of the waves. He might chide, “Why did you doubt?” But such words are His and His alone to give, and His Bride is more than capable of conveying their meaning to Her babies.
You and I commune at the same altar; that is good enough for me. Let us join together in raising our voices to Christ. When you rejoice, I will rejoice with you. And when you cry out, “Oh, Lord, how long?” I’m the alto you hear over yonder.