OUR JOURNEY in "TIME"
In the the Holy Scriptures , Old and New Testaments, a certain Book of Life is mentioned; a book wherein the names of all who are to go to Heaven appear.
Why does this Book exist? Because in "Eternity" all has reached its completion. If a soul is "going to be" in Heaven, even if that soul is in a body and biochemically alive on the Earth (in "Time"), that soul with its glorified body is simultaneously in Heaven in "Eternity". Naturally, its name is in a Book of Life. Think of the Book of Life as a Heavenly Directory.
Therefore, when that soul is born into "Time" [that is, in this world], that soul is already marked to go to Heaven. The question is: "How hard or how easy will that soul’s journey through this world be?" Believe it or not, that will entirely depend on the manner in which that soul exercises its free will.
God has a plan for each one of us as we journey in this world. If we follow that particular and highly individual plan, as close as we can, our passage through "Time" (this world) will be in the easiest possible way.
However, exercising our free will, we may deviate from that "perfect plan" by deciding to do it "our way". In which case God resorts to a Secondary Plan to help us.
The suffering that we may add to our life as we journey though it, is proportional to how far we may deviate from such plan. Nonetheless, as an act of Divine Mercy, God will take advantage (His Secondary Plan) of that suffering to help us get to the right path. That path will give us the most joy possible in our journey through life. 
THE CROSS - THE CROSSES
When Jesus Christ said "Take up your cross and follow Me" , He was not necessarily telling us that to be good Christians we had to fight the lions every day at the Roman Coliseum. What He was telling us was:(1) Take up your cross... : We are all born with an original sin. This "inborn cross" gives us the opportunity to exercise our free will and choose good over evil.
(2) ...and follow Me: If we live in accordance to His teachings, as close as we are able to, then we will make it through this world with that "inborn cross", plus all the other crosses that we may pick up, or are imposed upon us, along the way, with the least possible amount of discomfort.
These "other crosses" that we are speaking about refer to, by way of example, to the following:+++ If you fought in a bloody war and witnessed many physical and political atrocities, that left a deep and painful mark. Your entire life will be colored by that mark and, there, you have yet "another cross".
+++ If your parents abused you, that left a deep mark in your soul. Your entire life will be colored by that mark. That is "another cross".
+++ If the first love of your life mocked and rejected you publicly, that left a deep and painful mark in your soul. There is "another cross".
+++ If you were abused by a member of the clergy, that left what may be considered the most serious mark in your soul. That is yet "another, and very heavy, cross."
These "another crosses" are not given to you by God. It is the evil doings of mankind that brought them upon you.
Why did God allow this cross or that cross to be imposed upon us? Because God does not violate our Free Will. He Created us, gave us a Free Will, and a method to access His protective mantle [to prevent those "other crosses" from being placed upon us]. However, if any of that fails, because of our ineptitude and abuses, He still gives us His Way  to minimize the suffering caused as we journey through life burdened with many, many crosses.
We may be disciplined by Him as any true loving parent would do to his child. Nonetheless, the severity, the amount of suffering, still is in our hands and depends on the acts of our free will. That is, how hard do we resist or how quickly we respond to get back on the right path.
We have a difficult time realizing that God has given us more real control over our lives than we could have possibly had by any other means. However, for us to exercise that control, we must "follow Him".
To assist us in "following Him" is the real reason why humanity continues to receive many legitimate Messages from Heaven . God continues to extend His loving Hand to us. Many poor and endemically disoriented members of the clergy, thinking of themselves illuminated, claim: "The last revelations from Heaven  ceased when St. John (the Evangelist) died. We do not need messages from Heaven".
What these poor souls fail to see is that  organized christianity miserably failed to Evangelize the world, as instructed by Jesus Christ, and should feel ashamed that God has to directly intervene.
In His infinite Mercy , He is communicating to us using many systems to lead us step by step  back to Himself and help us minimize our suffering as we approach the End of These Times ; not of the World, but of These Times. Thank God!
Document Prepared on
August, 1997. Texas, U.S.A.
Edited for clarity and reissued on September 14, 2003 and October 16, 2008. European Union.
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