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The Exaltation of the Cross

“When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself”

9/13/2021
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Since time immemorial man, has considered cataclysms, sickness, moral and physical sufferings, as a punishment of God, diminishing the value itself of the Cross.

However, the Cross, is the result of God's love, It is the narrow gate that allows us to enter the Humanity of Jesus, to take part in His many gifts: " And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."(Jn 12: 32). The Cross is a priceless gift, It helps the soul despite its invalidity to live in the whole that is God. The nothing dissolves in the whole, the weakness in the Fortress, the darkness into God's light.

The Cross is the royal throne on which Christ was crucified. He “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!"(Phil 2.6-8)

It is the model to whom all of us can gather inspiration from; because only It guards the treasure and fortress of the Will of our Heavenly Father, who revealed  Himself to the world in His beloved Son. "Cross, finally I embrace you", this was the phrase said by Jesus when the cross was placed before Him. It is heavy not for the hardwood, but because it is full of the sins of all past, present and future generations.

Who of us would feel ready to speak with the same words of Jesus in times of trial? Many reject the Cross, they swear and make their sufferings insurmountable, others accept It almost as an imposition to which they can’t escape, others, however, those who are humble of heart, faithful Christians believing in God's plan and trusting His will, embrace It. They are empty of the heaviness of ego and with the crucified Christ, they wait with Him the Resurrection. The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta was a sublime example of smallness, contemplation and absorption of the greatness and depth of the Cross. Her experience of participation in the sufferings of Jesus, is well shown by the Marriage of the Cross,  that is preceded by the gift of the stigmata.

Luisa says that one morning, Jesus made Himself present before her in the form of a Crucifix, and told her that He wanted to crucify her with Him. As He was saying this,  rays of light came out from His most holy wounds, and within those rays, nails that pierced her hands, her feet and heart. Luisa did not ask Him not to make her suffer but to make the stigmata invisible. So it happened, nothing was shown trough her body and although her pains were unspeakable, they were overcome by the pleasure of being able to alleviate the intense sufferings of Jesus.

One morning – it was the day of the Exaltation of the Cross, on September 14 – Jesus transported Luisa to the holy places; and after having told her many things about the virtue of the Cross the Heavens opened, Saint John the Evangelist, the Queen Mother and many Angels came down.    

Luisa was invited to stretch out on the cross that Jesus had indicated to her and He Himself nailed her to it. He was happy because a small creature accepted in whole His Will. The crucifixion of Luisa, which was the result of a life lived in the Divine Will, brought immediate gifts: many souls were freed from Purgatory and took flight toward Heaven, and quite a few sinners were converted, because  the Good Jesus let everyone participate in the good of Luisa’s sufferings.

Therefore, let’s learn to know the preciousness of the Cross, as we experience It, That One that Jesus Christ embraced, On this day when the Holy Church leads us to contemplate the Cross as trophy of victory over sin, o Luisa, help us to look at It and to appreciate It in any form whatsoever which the Divine Will asks us.

FIAT

 

Anastasia
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- 9/18/2021
Dear Anastasia. Your article clearly explains the mystery of the Cross. Thank you for making clearer the mystery of the Cross, a mystery that confounds many of those who contemplate the Cross who have a great difficulty in understanding the gift that is suffering which Jesus gives us and which we are so unwilling to accept. Pain is not a pleasure, or so we judge it to be. It is however the 'narrow gate' through which the soul must pass to enter the Kingdom of God: Heaven, and accept the Will of God. All things valuable come at a great price. We have to embrace our nothingness willingly as did Luisa and accept the pain of self-denial that comes with it to break through into the Will of God which surpasses all understanding.