WE should be quick to relate all the crosses we can encounter in this life to the Cross of Christ whose feast of its exaltation we celebrate on September 14. That way, we infuse these crosses with a lot of meaning and with redemptive value. We convert them into a means of our victory, and not just a state of suffering and defeat.
To be sure, all our earthly crosses have already been subsumed by Christ’s Cross. There is no negative event in our life that is not taken care of by Christ’s redemptive death on the Cross. This truth of our faith should sink deep in our consciousness so we don’t waste time feeling bad and sad because of our crosses.
In other words, we should make these crosses lead us to Christ, because Christ can surely be found in his Cross where he showed his supreme act of love for us. That’s because by dying on the cross, Christ showed his tremendous generosity and love for everyone.
We should frequently meditate on the Passion and Death of Christ so as to correspond generously to the gift of his own self to us. And such correspondence actually does us a lot of good.
By meditating on the Passion and Death of Christ, we are shown how to handle our suffering and ultimately death. The Son of God has to become man to assume all the sins of men and with his passion and death and later his resurrection, convert those sins into the basis for a new creature, the new, re-created man in Christ.
We have to understand this very well. Unless we love the cross, we can never say that we are loving enough. Of course, we have to qualify that assertion. It’s when we love the cross the way God wills it—the way Christ loves it—that we can really say that we are loving as we should, or loving with the fullness of love.
We have to be wary of our tendency to limit our loving to ways and forms that give us some benefits alone, be it material, moral or spiritual. While they are also a form of love, they are not yet the fullness of love.
The cross, which is the symbol of all our sinfulness and the death that is the consequence of our sin, has not led God to hate us and to condemn us forever. Rather, it has moved God to love us with a love greater than that of creating us to be his image and likeness.
Yes, there is justice also involved, and there is punishment, divine anger and retribution always in play. But in the end, God is always moved to mercy and compassion for us, and this is actualized and personalized in God becoming man, Jesus Christ, who in the end offered his life on the cross as a supreme act of love for us.
We need to make some drastic adjustments in our understanding of love, in our attitudes, and the relevant practices and skills involved in this divine love. We should not be afraid of the cross. On the contrary, we have to look for it, in all its forms and expressions, with eagerness.
Loving with the cross of Christ makes our love spiritual and supernatural, a love that leads us to our eternal destination. It extricates our loving from the mere play of our passions and urges. It purifies and elevates our love without annulling its human, natural, physical and emotional dimensions.
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