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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
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+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – April 5

Just For Today
April 5
Identification

“Someone finally knew the crazy thoughts that I had and the crazy things I’d done.”
Basic Text p. 175

Addicts often feel terminally unique. We’re sure that no one used drugs like we did or had to do the things that we did to get them. Feeling that no one really understands us can keep us from recovery for many years.

But once we come to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous, we begin to lose that feeling of being “the worst” or “the craziest.” We listen as members share their experiences. We discover that others have walked the same twisted path that we’ve walked and still have been able to find recovery. We begin to believe that recovery is available to us, too.

As we progress in our own recovery, sometimes our thinking is still insane. However, we find that when we share the hard time we may be having, others identify, sharing how they have dealt with such difficulties. No matter how troubled our thinking seems, we find hope when others relate to us, passing along the solutions they’ve found. We begin to believe that we can survive whatever we’re going through to continue on in our recovery.

The gift of Narcotics Anonymous is that we learn we are not alone. We can get dean and stay clean by sharing our experience, our strength, and even our crazy thinking with other members. When we do, we open ourselves to the solutions others have found to the challenges we face.

Just for today: I am grateful that I can identify with others. Today, I will listen as they share their experience, and I’ll share mine with them.

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Daily Reflections
April 5
TRUE BROTHERHOOD

We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society. Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any one of those about us. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.
–TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 53

This message contained in Step Four was the first one I heard loud and clear; I hadn’t seen myself in print before! Prior to my coming into A.A., I knew of no place that could teach me how to become a person among persons. From my very first meeting, I saw people doing just that and I wanted what they had. One of the reasons that I’m a happy, sober alcoholic today is that I’m learning this most important lesson.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 5
A.A. Thought For The Day

People often ask what makes the A.A. program work. One of the answers is that A.A. works because it gets people away from themselves as the center of the universe. And it teaches them to rely more on the fellowship of others and on strength from God. Forgetting ourselves in fellowship, prayer, and working with others is what makes the A.A. program work. Are these things keeping me sober?

Meditation For The Day

God is the great interpreter of one human personality to another.  Even personalities who are the nearest together have much in their natures that remains a seated book to each other. And only as God enters and controls their lives are the mysteries of each revealed to the other. Each personality is so different. God alone understands perfectly the language of each and can interpret between the two. Here we find the miracles of change and the true interpretation of life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be in the right relationship to God. I pray that God will interpret to me the personalities of other people, so that I can understand them and help them.

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As Bill Sees It
April 5
Spiritual Kindergarten, p. 95

“We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to better effect. Each man’s theology has to be his own quest, his own affair.”

<< << << >> >> >>

When the Big Book was being planned, some members thought that it ought to be Christian in the doctrinal sense. Others had no objection to the use of the word “God”, but wanted to avoid doctrinal issues.  Spirituality, yes. Religion, no. Still others wanted a psychological book, to lure the alcoholic in. Once in, he could take God or leave Him alone as he wished.

To the rest of us this was shocking, but happily we listened. Our group conscience was at work to construct the most acceptable and effective book possible.

Every voice was playing its appointed part. Our atheists and agnostics widened our gateway so that all who suffer might pass through, regardless of their belief or lack of belief.

1. Letter, 1954
2. A.A. Comes Of Age, pp. 162, 163, 167

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Walk in Dry Places
April 5
Letting Go of Resentment
Releasing the Past

How can we really put an end to festering resentments toward other people? “Pray for these people,” the Old-timers said. “Go out of your way to do something good for them.” This is a big order for most of us, but we are working for a big reward: Sobriety, peace of mind, and personal progress.

When we pray for others in this manner, we’re practicing the noble art of forgiveness. How do we know when it’s staring to work? Lewis B. Smedes, a master teacher of forgiveness, offers this thought: “You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.”

Forgiveness also is supposed to include forgetting the wrong. What we really forget is the hurt connected with it. When anything that once evoked pain comes to mind, we’re growing spiritually if it no longer has the power to hurt us.

We then discover that we had been letting go our resentments hurt us again and again. We also learn that one effort to forgive is not nearly enough. Forgiveness takes the same amount of practice and emotional power we put into carrying the resentment!

Today will bring enough problems. I don’t have either the time or the energy to play the old tapes that cause me pain. I’ll practice praying for those who hurt me, and I’ll take it for granted that my HIgher Power is removing my resentments.

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Keep It Simple
April 5

Go outside, to the fields, enjoy nature and the sunshine, go out and try to recapture happiness in yourself and in God.
–Anne Frank

Many of us look at the joy and beauty of the program with caution. It was different from our addictive joy. Was it to be trusted? When we started working the Steps, we found inner joy and beauty. As we let go and gave in to the program, we found more happiness. We found joy in ourselves, our friends, our Higher Power, and those around us. Our self-pity changed to self-respect. We were truly out in the sunshine. We were no longer lost in misery. We know how to walk through misery to find joy.

Prayer for the Day: May I become better friends with myself. Higher Power, let me see the world through Your innocent, yet wise and loving eyes

Action for the Day: Today I’ll work to make my life and the lives of others more joyful. I’ll greet myself and others with much joy.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 5

I came to the conclusion then that “continual mindfulness”. . . must mean, not a sergeant-major-like drilling of thoughts, but a continual readiness to look and readiness to accept whatever came.
–Joanna Field

Resistance to the events, the situations, the many people who come into our lives blocks the growth we are offered every day. Every moment of every day is offering us a gift: the gift of awareness of other persons, awareness of our natural surroundings, awareness of our own personal impact on creation. And in awareness comes our growth as women.

Living in the now, being present in the moment, guarantees us the protection of God. And in the stretches of time when we anxiously anticipate the events of the future, we cheat ourselves of the security God offers us right now.

We are always being taken care of, right here, right now. Being mindful, this minute, of what’s happening and only this, eases all anxieties, erases all fears. We only struggle when we have moved our sights from the present moment. Within the now lies all peace.

The most important lesson I have to learn, the lesson that will eliminate all of my pain and struggle, is to receive fully that which is offered in each moment of my life.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 5
SAFE HAVEN

– This A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn’t want to be.

One of the things I have committed to do in return for God’s grace is to immediately become active in a correctional committee upon my release. Bringing the A.A. message back into jails and prisons is extremely important to me and my own sobriety today.
From experience, I’ve realized that I cannot go back and make a brand-new start. But through A.A., I can start now and make a brand-new end.

p. 457

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 5

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Once we have come into agreement with these ideas, it is really easy to begin the practice of Step Three. In all times of emotional disturbance or indecision, we can pause, ask for quiet, and in the stillness simply say: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Thy will, not mine, be done.”

pp. 40-41

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Xtra Thoughts
April 5

You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.
–Tom Wilson

“Not to transmit an experience is to betray it.”
–Elie Wiesel

A friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.
–Unknown

“The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.”
–Anon.

“None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting to change all the tenor of our lives.”
–Kathleen Norris

The beauty of God is evident when we work together for God’s glory.
–Jacki Work

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 5
FAILURE

“No man is a failure who is enjoying life.”
–William Feather

Spirituality is fun. I enjoy my sobriety today and I do not take myself too seriously.

For years I thought I was a failure and this “thought” manifested the behavior of a failure. I hid, sulked, was jealous, carried resentments and isolated myself from life – and then blamed the world.

Today because I really understand and accept that I am a child of God, I know that I am not a failure and I have a glorious future in recovery.

Today I have hope. Today I have confidence. Today I am able to accept and forgive. Today I am able to love my neighbor because I love myself.

In my enjoyment of life may I reflect your love for the world.

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Bible Scriptures
April 5

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”
–Psalm 91:11

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
–1 John 1:9

We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
–1 John 4:6

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in a advance for us to do.
–Ephesians 2:8-10

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Daily Inspiration
April 5

In a day when almost everything goes right, don’t ruin it by focusing on the one thing that didn’t. Lord, help me to allow the good in my life to prevail.

To live with anger or resentment creates even more anger and resentment. Lord, increase my ability to forgive and free me from all that separates me from You so that I may be filled with Your peace.

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A Day At A Time
April 5

Reflection For The Day

Still another common thread we invariably see among slippers is that many of them felt dissatisfaction with today. “I forgot we live one day at a time,” or “I began to plan results, not just plan.” They seemed to forget that all we have is Now. Life continues to get better for them and, as many of us do, they forgot how bad it had been. They began to think, instead, of how dissatisfying it was compared to what it could be. Do I compare today with yesterday, realizing, by that contrast, what great benefits and blessings I have today?

Today I Pray

If I am discouraged with today, may I remember the sorrow and hassles of yesterday. If I am impatient for the future, let me appreciate today and how much better it is than the life i left behind. May I never forget the principle of “one day at a time.”

Today I Will Remember

The craziness of yesterday

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One More Day
April 5

Be not afraid to pray, to pray is right.  Pray, if thou canst with hope, but even pray.
–  Harley Coolidge

“Now I lay me down to sleep” may have been one of our fist childhood prayers, perhaps even on of our first memories.  As we grew, we may have learned to recite other prayers by rote, with little understanding.

Now, we are beginning to understand and feel the need for prayer.  many of us came to a belief in a Power greater than ourselves, one which can nature and sustain us.  We can pray for those we love; we can pray for ourselves.  Prayer can enhance and bond us with our Higher Power.  It nourishes and satisfies our souls — the inner self.

Prayer is a creative expression of my spiritual needs.  It offers me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and continually reminds me of all life’s forces.

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One Day At A Time
April 5
~ Acceptance ~

Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have.
–Doris Mortman

Through abstinence and recovery, I can begin to accept myself. I can pay attention to my likes and my dislikes as I continue to grow and learn about me. Learning about myself is a new adventure. There are so many layers that have been hidden under years of food abuse and weight obsession. Exploring and discovering the new me requires a lot of acceptance. There are parts of me that I do not like, and there are also wonderful surprises. By accepting all parts of myself, I am honoring my Higher Power and demonstrating spiritual recovery.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will accept myself. By learning to accept myself, I will find myself growing in my acceptance of others.

~ Christine S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 5

“As we plunge ahead to build empires and race for supremacy we should stop and listen to “the female” song of life. For without the female there is no life.”
–Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders

Women are created with the ability to produce life. Women have a special tie to the Earth Mother. They have something in common. They are the source of life. The Earth Mother gives songs to the Woman to sing. These songs are about life, about beauty, about children, about love, about family, about strength, about caring, about nurturing, about forgiveness, about God. The World needs to pay attention and listen to Her. She knows.

Great Spirit, let me listen to Her songs.

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Journey To The Heart
April 5
Develop a Sense of the Sacred

During my stay in New Mexico, I found myself repeatedly– almost magnetically– drawn to the Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. The grounds weren’t fancy, soaking cost only $8.00. But I felt safe, healed, spiritually connected when I was there. At times, I felt almost an electric energy coursing through my body when I roamed the grounds. On my third visit, I noticed a small marker hidden on the side of the parking lot and I began to understand my feelings. The ancient spring was actually a Native American sacred site. The energy I felt there was real. I was standing on holy ground.

Develop a sense of the sacred. Develop a sense of what is sacred to you. Allow yourself to see and feel the holy grounds in your life as you go through your days and years. Many times what we’re going through, what we’re seeing is sacred, but our minds diminish that idea. So much in life is holy, but often we don’t make the connection. Listen to your soul as you experience life. Let yourself connect with what is holy and sacred to you.

Stop chattering for a moment. Be still. Experience. Ask your soul to show you what’s holy. The electric energy will rise through you. Your soul will come to attention. Learn to feel, see, and know the beauty of the journey you’re on.

Develop a sense of the sacred. Where you’re standing is holy ground.

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Today’s Gift
April 5

I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, Eyes – I wonder if it weighs like Mine – Or has an easier size.
—Emily Dickinson

How can we measure all the grief we feel, and how can we put up with it? Doesn’t the Grief of Death weigh a ton or more? Doesn’t it stretch out to a month, a year, or longer still? Is the Grief of Failure lighter than the Grief of Despair, but maybe longer? Isn’t the Grief of Emptiness the heaviest of all? Whether we try to ignore or make light of it, our grief, like a ton of feathers or a ton of rocks, is all the same to us. This much is sure: if we lock our grief in, it will weigh more on us and lengthen out; if we open our hearts with weeping and words, others will help carry it away.

What old sadness can I let go of by sharing it today?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 5
Detaching in Love

Detachment is a key to recovery from codependency. It strengthens our healthy relationships – the ones that we want to grow and flourish. It benefits our difficult relationships – the ones that are teaching us to cope. It helps us!

Detachment is not something we do once. It’s a daily behavior in recovery. We learn it when were beginning our recovery from codependency and adult children issues. And we continue to practice it along the way as we grow and change, and as our relationships grow and change.

We learn to let go of people we love, people we like, and those we don’t particularly care for. We separate ourselves, and our process, from others and their process.

We relinquish our tight hold and our need to control in our relationships. We take responsibility for ourselves; we allow others to do the same. We detach with the understanding that life is unfolding exactly as it needs to, for others and ourselves. The way life unfolds is good, even when it hurts. And ultimately, we can benefit from even the most difficult situations. We do this with the understanding that a Power greater than ourselves is in charge, and all is well.

Today, I will apply the concept of detachment, to the best of my ability, in my relationships. If I cant let go completely, Ill try to hang on loose.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 5
Just do what you can

Dear God,
I am doing the best that I can.
–Children’s Letters to God

Sometimes all we can do is all we can do.

“Maybe my talent is being a good listener,” said John. “Maybe I’m not supposed to be rich and famous. I’m supposed to be the person who just sits and listens.”

The world needs listeners,too. If everyone were the storyteller, it would be a noisy place, and no one would ever get to hear the stories. Maybe you are a storyteller, maybe you are a listener. Maybe both. Maybe it will be your path to achieve recognition and fame; maybe yours is an anonymous path of service.

If you’ve done all you can– whether it’s to pursue your dreams, work on that relationship, help someone else, or take care of yourself– then you’ve done your part.

Maybe all we can do is all we’re meant to do, that day.

God, help me do what I can and not torture myself about what I can’t.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 5

When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.
—Mark Twain

Feelings of anger are a knotty problem for many men. Some of us as children were injured or so frightened by an angry adult that we have instinctively avoided anger ever since. Or we have been appalled by ourselves when we lost control of our anger. Still, we are taught that it is masculine to be aggressive. Some of us have tried so hard to squelch our anger that we don’t even know when we feel it. We treat anger like a rejected child once rejected we no longer have good discipline over it. So it comes out in hurtful jokes and sarcastic comments, or bursts out of us in scary and destructive ways.

For some of us, overly controlled anger turns inward against ourselves. We get physically ill or depressed and self-hating. Every recovering man needs an honest relationship with his anger. We must acknowledge this feeling within us when it is there. It is healthy to express anger directly, honestly, and respectfully.

Thanks to God for the richness of my emotional life. Today, I will notice my feelings of anger and accept them so I can learn to relate to them.

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Daily TAO
April 5
TRAVEL

Body is the tabernacle.
Traveling one thousand miles,
The gods are still in place.

The body is the temple of the gods. It should be kept clean and pure, so that the holiest of events can take place. Sacred, it should be kept undefiled. Consecrated, its interior is where the deepest questions are explored.

In olden times, the devout carried tabernacles so that they could keep up their devotions when when far from their homes. Their gods were inside these boxes, protected and treasured. Followers of Tao believe that the gods are within themselves. Therefore, wherever they go, they carry the gods within them.

During their travels, when they come to a resting place, they open not a receptacle but themselves. They carry their sense of “place” within themselves. Even while sojourning, they remain oriented to their inner sacredness. Perhaps they can even make breakthroughs more quickly, for the preoccupations of the mind are no longer present to interfere with the flow of the divine. Once people connect to their inner strength, there is no end to the wonders of travel.

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DailyZen
April 5

Stillness, stillness
In the flowering branches
At the thatched hut,
Swept strings of a zither.
Because you’re now in mountains,
The way you see has changed;
When meeting visitors,
You speak your heart.
The moon rises
Over the quiet river road;
Cranes cry from trees
Deep in cloud.
If I could learn
The art of alchemy,
I, too, would settle
In an unknown wood.

– Chang Chi (776-829)

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Food for Thought
April 5
Fears

Do you eat when you are afraid? Many of us do. When we were babies, being fed brought the safety of our mother’s arms. As adults, we subconsciously give food a sort of magic ability to ward off real or imagined danger.

There are times when food may serve as a temporary tranquilizer, but overeating prevents us from facing what we fear and learning how to deal with it. Eating compulsively, moreover, usually produces a feeling of guilt and a fear of “getting caught.” The fear that we will not be able to stop eating is added to the fear that prompted us to reach for food, and the more we eat, the greater our fears.

Many of our fears are groundless and irrational. Through contact with our Higher Power, we are given the sanity, which causes them to disappear. Those fears that remain are often the result of the self-centeredness, which prevents us from turning our lives completely over to God. When we give Him absolute control, we have nothing to fear.

May I love You enough to let go of my fears.

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In God’s Care
April 5

Conscience is the perfect interpreter of life.
~~Karl Barth

In a moment’s pause, before we respond to a person or situation, may come a clear message indicating how we are to act or what we are to say. In that quiet moment, our conscience calls to us. Our willingness to pause, listen, and then act as our Inner Guide suggests, will ensure that our relations with others will reflect our true values.

Many of us feel God’s presence most through our conscience. Seldom are we truly in doubt about the proper response to a friend. And yet we may still refuse to pause and listen to God’s message – to remember and affirm our values. And then we experience guilt and shame.

We complicate our relationships needlessly when we act before we think. Our agitated ego takes over, and we lose sight of the sure knowledge that God is the director, we are the actors. A quiet mind lets us hear the directions.

I will be quiet, if only for a moment, before sharing my thoughts today.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 5
Not Forgotten

Thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. (Isaiah 44:21)

Our Jehovah cannot so forget His servants as to cease to love them. He chose them not for a time but forever. He knew what they would be when He called them into the divine family. He blots out their sins like a cloud; and we may be sure that He will not turn them out of doors for iniquities which He has blotted out. It would be blasphemy to imagine such a thing.

He will not forget them so as to cease to think of them. One forgetful moment on the part of our God would be our ruin. Therefore He says, “Thou shalt not be forgotten of me,” Men forget us; those whom we have benefited turn against us. We have no abiding place in the fickle hearts of men; but God will never forget one of His true servants. He binds Himself to us not by what we do for Him but by what He has done for us. We have been loved too long and bought at too great a price to be now forgotten. Jesus sees in us His soul’s travail, and that He never can forget. The Father sees in us the spouse of His Son, and the Spirit sees in us His own effectual work. The Lord thinketh upon us. This day we shall be succored and sustained. Oh, that the Lord may never be forgotten of us!

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 05

“On Him they laid the cross, that He might bear it after Jesus.”—Luke 23:26.

WE see in Simon’s carrying the cross a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.

But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon’s, it is not our cross, but Christ’s cross which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ’s cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!

You carry the cross after Him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of His blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. ‘Tis His cross, and He goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow Him.

Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of the cross, Christ bore the heavier end.

And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for a very little while, it gave him lasting honour. Even so the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross, and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, when it works out for us “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

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