Litany in Honor of the Holy Cross;
[drawn from the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, 1380-1471.]
The word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18)
Antiphon: God forbid that I should glory in anything save the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal.6:14)
Jesus has many who love His Kingdom in heaven, but few who bear His Cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share His feast, but few His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few are willing to suffer for His sake.
Why do you fear to take up the Cross, which is the road to the Kingdom?
In the Cross is salvation and life, protection against our enemies,
infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind, joy of spirit, excellence of virtue, perfection of holiness.
There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross.
Take up the Cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and go forward into eternal life.
Christ has gone before you, bearing His Cross; He died for you on the Cross, that you also may bear your cross, and desire to die on the Cross with Him.
For if you die with Him, you will also live with Him.
And if you share his sufferings, you will also share His glory.
See how in the Cross all things consist, and in dying on it all things depend.
There is no other way to life and to true inner peace, than the way of the Cross.
Go where you will, seek what you will; you will find no higher way above nor safer way below than the road of the Holy Cross.
The Cross always stands ready, and everywhere awaits you. You cannot escape it,wherever you flee; for wherever you go, you bear yourself, and always find yourself.
Look up or down, without you or within, and everywhere you will find the Cross.
And everywhere you must have patience, if you wish to attain inner peace, and win an eternal crown.
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us to follow You not only to the Breaking of Your Body, but also to the drinking of the Blood of Your Passion.
Help us to love You, for Your own sake, and not for the sake of comfort for ourselves.
Make us worthy to suffer for Your name, Jesus, our Crucified and risen Lord and Saviour, now and forever.