Friday, November 23, 2007

Meditation for November 24, Love of the Cross

In a convent of Carmelites, at the time of St. John of the Cross, there was a painting representing Jesus carrying His Cross. The Saint decided to remove this painting from the monastery to the church where the faithful would be able to honor it. Then one day, when St. John of the Cross was in prayer, he heard the Savior say to him,
"Brother John, ask what you wish and I will grant you this for the service that you have rendered me."
To which the monk gave this sublime answer, "Lord, I wish that you would give me some sufferings to bear for You, and that I may be con­temned and regarded as of little value."

There is a double lesson in this for me.

First: Devotion to the cross. I should love with all my heart the image of Christ on Calvary and venerate particularly the cru­cifix I received at Profession.

Secondly: I must understand that love of the cross is not merely love for an object of wood or of brass which recalls the gibbet of my Savior, but the loving acceptance of the great or small occa­sions of crucifixion which might be offered me.

O Jesus, through the intercession of your crucified servant, John of the Cross, give me devotion to the Cross and love of the Cross. Many times I have asked this grace of You, and You know well how my need for it increases. Therefore, I beg You humbly to grant my prayer. The generosity of the saints delights me; but it also frightens me; I feel myself so inferior to them in valor and in love; without doubt I have not their grace. Grant that from afar, at my level, I may serve without pusillanimity or dis­couragement.

Up, my soul! Follow the cross of the Good Master, as the least of that noble line of Saints who did not spare themselves at all when there was question of the honor of Christ.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

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