Wednesday, September 14, 2016

will you remain faithful to the Crucified?

 Pondering today's feast, the Exaltation of the Cross...

More than ever the cross is a sign of contradiction. The followers of the Antichrist show it far more dishonor than did the Persians who stole it. They desecrate the images of the cross, and they make every effort to tear the cross out of the hearts of Christians. All too often they have succeeded even with those who, like us, once vowed to bear Christ’s cross after him… Therefore, the Savior today looks at us, solemnly probing us, and asks each one of us: Will you remain faithful to the Crucified? Consider carefully! The world is in flames, the battle between Christ and the Antichrist has broken into the open. If you decide for Christ, it could cost you your life. Carefully consider what you promise...The world is in flames. The conflagration can also reach our house. But high above all flames towers the cross. They cannot consume it. It is the path from earth to heaven. It will lift one who embraces it in faith, love, and hope into the bosom of the Trinity.”
written for the community’s renewal of vows, 
September 14, 1939, 
the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross doesn’t remove the cross. It points to a more difficult – and at the same time more hopeful – faith. We pray for the grace to embrace our suffering, ‘obedient even unto death,’ to make our pain an offering and believe that in God’s mysterious plan, it has the power to heal. When we are tempted to ask God why, we pray instead as Jesus did: ‘Into your hands I commend my spirit’.” 
~Richard Reece, from 
today’s reflection in 
“Give Us This Day”

[photo © María Ruiz Scaperlanda -- San Alfonso Retreat House, 2016]