September 15, 2014

Exaltation of the Holy Cross & the Sorrowful Mother

 In the year 326 the mother of Constantine, Helena, then about 80 years old, having journeyed to Jerusalem, undertook to rid the Holy Sepulchre of the mound of earth heaped upon and around it, and to destroy the pagan buildings that profaned its site. Some revelations which she had received gave her confidence that she would discover the Saviour's Tomb and His Cross. The work was carried on diligently, with the co-operation of St. Macarius, bishop of the city. The Jews had hidden the Cross in a ditch or well, and covered it over with stones, so that the faithful might not come and venerate it. Only a chosen few among the Jews knew the exact spot where it had been hidden, and one of them, named Judas, touched by Divine inspiration, pointed it out to the excavators, for which act he was highly praised by St. Helena. Judas afterwards became a Christian saint, and is honoured under the name of Cyriacus.During the excavation three crosses were found, but because the titulus, the title of the Cross, namely INRI, was detached from the Cross of Christ, there was no means of identifying it. Following an inspiration from on high, Macarius caused the three crosses to be carried, one after
the other, to the bedside of a worthy woman who was at the point of death. The touch of the other two was of no avail; but on touching that upon which Christ had died, the woman got suddenly well again.
 Let us, therefore, not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ. You openly seal it upon your forehead that the devils may behold the royal sign and flee trembling, far away. Make then this sign at eating and drinking, at sitting, at lying down, at rising up, at speaking, at walking: in a word, at every act.
(From the Fourth Catethetical Lecture by St Cyril of Jerusalem)
 According to an ancient legend, the wood of the Cross upon which Christ was crucified, was taken
from that tree which was the source of the fruit of the fall in the Garden of Eden. When Adam died,
the legend states, Seth obtained from the Cherubim guarding the Garden, a branch of the tree from
which Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Seth planted this branch at Golgotha (the place of the skull), which is so named because Adam was buried there. As time went on, the Ark of the Covenant, the pole upon which the bronze serpent was lifted, and other items were made from this tree.
 Apart from the Cross, there is no other ladder
by which we may get to Heaven.
St. Rose of Lima

If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
The prophecy of Simeon. (St. Luke 2: 34, 35)
The flight into Egypt. (St. Matthew 2:13-14)
The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple. (St. Luke 3: 43-45)
The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
The Crucifixion.
The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
The burial of Jesus. 

See if there be any sorrow
like to my sorrow.

From the moment of conception, Our Blessed Mother was full of grace. Each day, because she was free from any stain of sin, She grew in holiness and unity with God.  When Christ died on the Cross, she felt it deeply within her heart, mind and soul,  Because her unity with Her Son was so perfected, her pain must have been the most intense pain any human ever suffered, next to Christ Himself. She will never fail us in our sufferings and trials. Bring them to Her!

The Children of Mary are, above all
and forever, the children of the Cross.

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