To Move Up, Go Back Down the Mountain

To have someone to care for, whether in prayer, visitation, or volunteer work, is the greatest source of fulfillment. It may make you feel burdened, but thank God you can help.

It’s only when one has a burden to carry that he genuinely has something to live for. My grandmother used to tell me, “If someone has no one to care for, then they have no tomorrow to wait for.”

As I think of the significance of having a “burden” I am reminded of a story of two men climbing a rugged mountain covered with snow. They’d been climbing for hours from one cliff to another to a place where they could see a building with lights. Their hope was to get there, be warm and rest.  As they neared the building, they heard someone crying, with a faint voice, for help from the bottom of a cliff they had just finished climbing. A man had fallen and broken some bones. One climber said to the other, “Let’s go back and help that poor person.”

His friend replied adamantly, “That person is going to die there, I am not going to carry a burden.”

Disappointed by his friend, the man slowly and courageously crawled until he reached the screaming person. The kind man removed his socks and covered the man’s injuries.

He struggled for hours to take the injured man to the top of the cliff. Finally he saw the building with light and dragged his burden toward it. Just a few yards later, the kind man saw a small heap that was not fully covered with snow. He got closer to see what it was.  It was the friend who had continued his journey. He had frozen to death.

The greatest secret in life for spiritual growth, personal development, or even professional advancement is to help other people find solutions for their problems. The rewards are invaluable, especially if our services are for the benefits of those at the “bottom of the cliff”: the less fortunate, the parent whose child has died, a person whose spouse has died, one struggling to find the meaning of life after the death of a parent, victims of divorce, and those stricken with illness. In Mark 6:37-44, Jesus fed the multitude because their hunger was a burden He knew needed to be lifted. He participated in pain. He cared.

To carry a burden, one must first care. In miracles performed by Jesus we see results—healing, full stomachs, resurrection. We really see His care, His presence with the hurting. Care is the foundation of cure. He cared enough to be with Martha and Mary. He cared for the hungry. He searched for loaves of bread and fish. He cared for the lost world and gave His life. He cared to carry mankind’s burdens. What’s your burden today? Carry it with joy!

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage