Dear Christ, my God,

No living human is without back pain
at one time or another.

According to Greek legend, the mythical god, Atlas, holds the entire, crushing weight
of the universe on his broad shoulders
and aching back.

You, Jesus, crowned with thorns,
and in the heat of abuse and rebuke,
bore the crushing weight of the centuries,
and all the sins of the world, up the rocky sun-baked climb to Golgatha,
the Place of the Skull.

Pilgrims see your face to this day
in a rocky formation along that route.

Please let any pain I have in my own back
remind me of Good Friday, when indeed You carried Your cross on Your bloodied shoulders,
bruised and exhausted, whipped and cursed,
and You fell three times into the dust
of the mob-filled road to Calvary:
All this to atone for the sins of mankind,
and to accomplish the salvation
of the human race.

Let pain be to me a valuable reminder,
concentrating my attention on my own road
of expiation to my own Calvary, and hopefully, to You, God, in heaven.

I offer up to You, Crucified Jesus, as penance
in expiation for my sins and transgressions, whatever pains I may have to endure,
in my back or anywhere in this frail,
expendable body.

Please stay with me on my journey to my own Calvary, Blessed Lord, my Divine Companion, and help me, guide me always, to stay
the course with You as I negotiate
the sometimes hard and tortuous paths of life.

Please, suffering Jesus, forgive me
for my sins and negligences, my petty complaints, my sad grievances and needless worries.

Strengthen me, please, to take up boldly,
and bear bravely and without complaint,
my own little crosses on my daily journey
toward You and Your kingdom.

Please, please, let me arrive and be admitted there, unworthy as I may be, to Your Company
and to the shining court of Your saints
and angels, and my fellow pilgrims
from this weary earth.



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