a cross to bear

cross to bear

A difficult responsibility or burden that someone must handle on their own. When Nancy's husband passed away, she was left with quite a cross to bear having to raise four children on her own.
See also: bear, cross, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a cross to bear

If you have a cross to bear, you have a responsibility or a difficult situation which you must tolerate. Success has brought astonishing levels of media attention and that is a cross the young player has to bear. It's not an ideal situation but we all have our crosses to bear. Note: The reference here is to Jesus being made to carry the cross on which He was to die to the place of execution.
See also: bear, cross, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

cross to bear, a/one's

A burden of misfortune, guilt, or other suffering. The term comes from the story of Jesus’s crucifixion, in which a passerby named Simon the Cyrene was stopped and told to carry the cross to be so used to Calvary, the place of execution (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26; the last Gospel account, John 19:17, has Jesus carrying his own cross). From this, carrying a cross came to symbolize Jesus’ suffering, and by extension, the suffering of all human beings. Today the term is frequently used more lightly, as for example, “The Dallas Cowboys, who are mired in a slump this season, are her cross to bear” (Robin Finn, New York Times, writing about the tennis player and Cowboys fan Martina Navratilova, Nov. 13, 1989).
See also: cross, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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