Thursday, March 6, 2014

Simon the Cyrenian and Me

Simon of Cyrene helping Christ carry the cross
I came to an interesting realization the other day, I am a lot like Simon the Cyrenian, pressed into service to help another person carrying their cross. I had this realization after a Facebook thread with Shameless Popery's Joe Heschmeyer.

The comment that sparked the notion was Joe telling me he admired how I had borne my crosses in life. To me I guess I've never really thought of them as my own crosses. I suppose it helped that after Tommy was born I was praying a Rosary. Meditating on the sorrowful mysteries and during the decade for the carrying of the cross it hit me this condition is Tommy's cross.

Even with that I had never seen the connection of myself as the mysterious Cyrenian pressed into service aiding Christ on the way to Calvary. But driving home the other day the analogy just hit me. Now in some ways perhaps you think I am overstating the importance of Tommy or Jake, I don't think either of them are God Incarnate, but I do think they have an important role to play in my own salvation, if nothing else.

I've become a better person and a better husband, because of my children. I've also become a better believer. That belief has been hard won. There have been many times I have been ready to give up on faith only to have those little moments that reconfirm it all for me.

Of course it used to be all about Tommy, but then we had Jake, and became famous (anonymously) once again as we became the first family to have a repeat of a Hartsfield diagnosis. Jake is an awesome little dude, but it has been a challenge, dealing with the diagnosis through the pregnancy, having to tell the doctors to can their "we can terminate this pregnancy" speech. But again, the crosses we had to bear sort of ended once he was borne, and now we are helping him to bear his cross.

I've always wondered about Simon, he gets about a sentence worth of recognition in each of the synoptic gospels (Mt. 27:32, Mk 15:21, Lk 23:26). Pretty short shrift for a guy forced into essentially keeping the Son of God alive long enough, so that they can kill him how they want.

Who was he? What happened to him after this experience. Did he believe? Before/after?

All we know is that in one of the absolute worst moments for Christ, he was the one to help bear the burden. Yes he was pressed into service, but he took on the obligation, fulfilled his duty.

Being a parent in some ways is like that, I mean at least hopefully, you aren't forced into it. But you do have to help your children bear the burdens of growing up. Even if your children aren't special needs you do everything you can to help ease their troubles.