The theme requested had to do with "Discovering the Joy of the Cross", and doing so in the way St. Francis of Assisi did.
Here is a lesson Cricket felt was given to her in prayer after Mass when she asked a question we all ask at times: "How, Lord, can we learn to love what is painful and difficult for us? "
Cricket felt this reply was given, and helped form the study she led the group through along with Scriptures, quotes from the Saints, and quiet time of reflection:
Your daily offerings, your dying to self, your choices to follow My will in place of your own, all have the power of transformation within. Learn to love the transformation that takes place in your soul. Learn to love the depth and sincerity of love that makes your heart like Mine. Learn to love the gift that reaches out to those who cause your crosses --- because, not only is your own dying to self allowing you to be transformed, it also plants, waters, and nourishes the seeds of new life in those who hurt you.
How much I long to heal the broken, hurting, and hate-filled hearts. But know that your acts of selfless love, patient endurance, and joy-filled faith in Me, all make a difference in the soul that is far from My love.
Learn to love Me for them. Learn to use your moments of dying to self for their resurrection.
All will be well. I cannot but love and will for good. Trust Me with your crosses and teach others, too, to love them.
May God bless you and yours this Spring!