Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Exaltation of the Cross

St. Helena and the True Cross
Picture source

The following is from today's Magnificat's daily reading:

"...We exalt Christ's cross whenever we freely take it up, filled with the certainty that the ultimate meaning and fulfillment which we crave in life comes to us through this unending event. 'With the cross we are freed from the restraint of the enemy and we clutch on to the strength of salvation.' - Saint Theodorus the Estudite...'we cannot produce or give any other fruit but the fruit we have taken from the tree of life.' - St. Catherine of Siena. 'No wonder that the sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ' - St. Leo the Great."

The Beloved Crosses

"The saints...all loved the Cross and found in it their strength and their consolation. it necessary...always to have something to suffer?...Now sickness or poverty, or again scandal or calumny, or possibly loss of money or an infirmity?

Have you been calumniated, my friends? Have you been loaded with insults? Have you been wronged? So much the better! That is a good sign; do not worry; you are on the road that leads to Heaven. Do you know when you ought to be really upset? I do not know if you understand it, but it should be precisely for the opposite reason--when you have nothing to endure, when everyone esteems and respects you. Then you should feel envious of those who have the happiness of passing their lives in suffering, or contempt, or poverty. Are you forgetting, then, that at your Baptism you accepted the cross, which you must never abandon until death, and that it is the key that you will use to open the door of Heaven? Are you forgetting the words of our savior? 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.' Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year, but all our lives. The saints had a great fear of passing any time without suffering, for they looked upon it as time lost. According to St. Teresa, man is only in this world to suffer, and when he ceases to suffer, he should cease to live. St. John of the Cross asks God, with tears, to give him the grace to suffer more as a reward of all his labors.

What should we conclude...from all that? Just this: Let us make a resolution to have a great respect for all the crosses, which are blessed, and which represent to us in a small way all that our God Suffered for us. Let us recall that from the Cross flow all the graces that are bestowed upon us and that as a consequence, a cross which is blessed is a source of blessings, that we should often make the Sign of the Cross on ourselves and always with great respect, and , finally, that our houses should never remain without this symbol of salvation.

Fill your children...with the greatest respect for the Cross, and always have a blessed cross on yourselves; it will protect you against the Devil, from the vengeance of Heaven, and from all danger...
Source: The Sermons of the Curé of Ars.

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