St Clare of Assisi

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 14 - Exaltation of the Glorious Cross

September 14th, brings us to one of the twelve great feasts in the yearly Church cycle - the feast of the Exaltation of the Glorious Cross (Triumph of the Cross). On this day we commemorate the miraculous finding of the cross by St. Helen (mother of Constantine) in the year 326, after it had disappeared during the first centuries of persecutions of Christianity when pagans tried to destroy all evidence relating to the life of Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, we celebrate the full significance of the victory of the Cross of Christ as instrument of salvation. By His obedience unto death, Jesus Christ accomplished universal redemption. Through Christ we are thus able to look at the entire universe through the light of the Cross the new Tree of Life which provides nourishment for those who have been redeemed in Christ.

Adoration of the Cross is adoration of Jesus Christ, God made man, who suffered and died for our redemption from sin and death. Contemplating the Cross, we contemplate the true image of God as He bends down to embrace all humans in their suffering. As we celebrate this feast, we as Christians are invited to remember the true beatitude that as disciples we are called to live, namely  the fullness of life through the participation in the Son of God's paschal journey.  Dear Brothers and Sisters, we are invited to look upon the Cross. It is the “privileged place” where the love of God is revealed and shown to us.… On the Cross human misery and divine mercy meet. The adoration of this unlimited mercy is for man the only way to open himself to the mystery which the Cross reveals.  (Pope John Paul II in his homily on 14th September 2003)

Representing the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Cross is the most potent and universal sign of Christian faith. By wearing a Crucifix (the cross with an image of Christ’s body upon it) or by placing it in our environments we are a constant reminder and witness of Christ's ultimate triumph over sin and death. Meditating the mysteries of Christ together with the Virgin Mary by praying the Holy Rosary underneath the Crucifix we open our hearts to experience the abundance of graces and life-giving mercy and forgiveness pouring out from the Crucified One's pierced side.

1 Cor 1:18-25 (vigil); Num 21:4-9; Phil 2:6-I1; Jn 3:13-17 (or Jn 19:25-27)

Cross, light of Christians

O Holy Cross, ineffable love of God and glory of heaven! O Holy Cross eternal salvation support of the just, light of Christians, God has made Himself man and slave for you; in God through you man has been made king; true light has emerged from you and night has been won. You are the soul of peace which unites men in Christ the mediator. You are the ladder by which man rises to heaven. Remain always for us, your faithful, a column and anchor; sustain our residences and our environments. May our faith remain strong in the cross and may our crown be prepared in it.

Prayer in front of the Cross

Lord Jesus, your Cross has been planted on this earth. Refused by the crowds, abandoned by your friends, confused with criminals, stripped from your dignity, tortured in body and soul, you have descended unto the very abyss of suffering where it seems that even God is far away. And yet your arms, nailed to the cross, remain open to embrace everyone. And yet your mouth speaks only words of pardon and promises of happiness. Lord Jesus, your story is continued in the everyday life where betrayals, infidelities, refusals, and revenges are present. At times, there seems to be no end to destruction, daily crimes and suffering imposed on those who are weak and in need help. We pray to you for all men especially those who use the power of arms to offend, humiliate and to impose their power. May they open their eyes to realise the pain that they are causing and the devastating consequences of war and the desperation of many people. Through the intercession of our Mother Mary ever Virgin we ask you to please open their hearts that they may recognise the semblances of your Christ in the disfigured faces of the oppressed, the blood of your Christ falling from His cross in the blood of victims and may they recognise a brother in every suffering man. Amen.

Adoramus te, christe, et benedicimus tibi,
quia per crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
for by your cross you have redeemed the world.

St. Francis' Prayer Before the Crucifix

Most High
glorious God,
enlighten the darkness
of my heart.
Give me
right faith,
sure hope
and perfect charity.
Fill me with understanding
and knowledge
that I may fulfill
your command.

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