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Chapter 54

Christ Crucified

 

Within the heart of Christ crucified,
your soul will be filled and fattened with virtue,
and suddenly you will discover these two wings,
humility and charity,
that will allow you to fly to eternal life.
—St. Catherine of Siena

 

 

Remember the Cross.  The cross is hope, healing and salvation.  The cross is forgiveness, love and mercy.  The cross is our home away from home—a place of peace and security, love and humility.  Go where you will, do what you want, and you will not find another place on earth as good as the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and becoming one with Him in humility and true love.

Here is where Christ comes to us most intimately, most surely and most often.  Here is where our sins are forgiven, God’s love is given, grace grows, merit mounts, obstacles dissolve and barriers break down.  The lower we go in our soul with humility, the higher we see reality and grow in charity.  The more crosses that we encounter or carry, whether of body or soul, in seeking to please Him, the more free we become of covetousness and greed, puffed up pride and selfish sensuality.  For “those who belong to Christ, have crucified the flesh (the “old man”) with its vices and sinful desires.” (Gal. 5:24)  Only the soul that has carried crosses and accepted losses can know the profound peace and spiritual joy, the interior satisfaction and freedom, that comes from becoming one with Christ Crucified.  The more we have died with the Crucified, the more we will abide in His loving presence, power and peace.  Accept everything that brings you to nothing, and you will be lost and then found in Him. (Matt. 16:25)

Are you looking for the answer to life, the meaning of love, the path to freedom, the dignity, worth and value of suffering, problems and pain?  Look no further than the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Here you will learn the value of everything that denies the sick self, starves the “old man,” takes away your possessions, imposes a burden of suffering and leads you into poverty of spirit—humility of heart.  Let your love grow as you come to know, in a personal way, the love of God for you in Christ Crucified.  He will help you heal, fill you full, make you grow, and glorify your soul in a true spiritual resurrection and ascension.  You will experience the “Triumph of the Cross” over every evil and loss, over every problem and pain, over every sin and vice, and be united to Jesus Christ Glorified, in the end.  Follow Him through pain and humiliation, loneliness and loss.  Pick up your cross and offer it to Him, and He will make it the very means of your salvation.  Carry your cross, and it will carry you right through a complete conversion all the way to heaven.  For “there is no health of soul nor hope of eternal life but in the cross.” (The Imitation of Christ)

 

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