Friday, 14 September 2007

The Triumph of The Cross


Holiness is found at the Cross. It is actually the preeminent holiness, of which the dying Son of God offers a final, comprehensible proof. There he is both the God who left his own glory with the Father and the man whom God made holy in every respect. Every element of holiness comes from and is of the lineage of the Cross, even that of the untouched and innocent ones, the ones who, if it were possible, would have endured nothing of the Cross.
All holiness comes from the Cross and returns to it–not to the empty Cross, but rather to the crucified Lord who on that Cross summarizes in himself his entire earthly life and everything constituting holiness and the life of faith of the Church.


[Adrienne Von Speyr]

If you seek the example of love: "Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends." Such a man was Christ on the cross. And if he gave his life for us, then it should not be difficult to bear whatever hardships arise for his sake.

If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because "when he suffered he did not threaten; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth."

If you seek an example of obedience, follow him who became obedient to the Father even unto death. "For just as by the disobedience of one man," namely, Adam, "many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man, many were made righteous."

If you seek an example of despising earthly things, follow him who is "the King of kings and the Lord of lords, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Upon the cross he was stripped, mocked, spat upon, struck, crowned with thorns, and given only vinegar and gall to drink.

Do not be attached, therefore, to clothing and riches, because "they divided my garments among themselves." Nor to honors, for he experienced harsh words and scourgings. Nor to greatness of rank, for "weaving a crown of thorns they placed it on my head." Nor to anything delightful, for "in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."


[St Thomas Aquinas]

The everlasting God has

in His wisdom foreseen

from eternity the cross

that He now presents to you

as a gift from His inmost heart.


This cross He now sends you

He has considered with His all-knowing eyes,

understood with His divine mind,

tested with His wise justice,

warmed with loving arms

and weighed with His own hands

to see that it be not one inch too large

and not one ounce too heavy for you.


He has blessed it with His holy Name,

anointed it with His consolation,

taken one last glance at you

and your courage,

and then sent it to you from heaven,

a special greeting from God to you,

an alms of the all-merciful love of God.

[St Francis de Sales]

I will go and tell the world,
spreading the word
of your beauty and sweetness
and of your sovereignty.
I will go seek my bride
and take upon myself
her weariness and labors
in which she suffers so;
and that she may have life
I will die for her
and lifting her out of that deep,
I will restore her to you.


[ words of 'The Son to The Father' from Romance VII by St John of the Cross]


5* Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, * being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9* Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

[St Paul to The Philippians; Chapter 2]

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