Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sept. 14, 2016: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Sept. 14, 2016: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The Internal Cross of Jesus

"My soul is filled with sorrow even to the point of death" (Mk 14:34)

If Jesus was all love, He was also all suffering. He longed "to be baptized with a baptism of blood" (cf. Lk 12:50). His external cross was as a relif, or rest, compared to the interior suffering of His Heart that crucified Him. From the moment of His Incarnation, this inner cross oppressed Him and throughout His life, the thorns of human ingratitude pierced Him.

Jesus kept those sufferings hidden and veiled. He smiled, worked and preached, but He hid His interior suffering (which Mary surmised), which He offered as the purest incense to His Father in all the instances of His life. The martyrdoms that tortured Him interiorly are neither taken into account nor are they appreciated.

That little cross, which we contemplate driven into the upper portion of Jesus' Heart, represents to us the most exquisite pain and a pain without relief. It is only in His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane that He allows us a vague idea of the torture which, during His entire life, tore His innocent Heart to shreds.

Water and blood gushed forth from this Inner Sanctuary of Love to purify and save me. Jesus was willing to be left without blood, but not without me. He let His veins be drained for love of me. He opened the Fountain of Life so that my lips might drink and my soul might inebriate itself with purity and sanctity with this Wine that brings forth virgins.

Have I at least been grateful for these internal sufferings? Do I love them? Do I honor them? Do I meditate on them? Do I make them known? Do I ask for them and do I embrace them in order to console Jesus?

If all the graces which we receive were solely the fruit of love, there would be motive enough to die of gratitude that we might make all the sacrifices in order to respond to that fervent love. But if they are also the fruit of sufferings--if to come forth from the Heart of Jesus, they tore it apart and they caused Him to shed blood--then where is there sufficient gratitude to appreciate them and adequate love to respond to them?

In this internal cross we find our salvation. This wound is the door to heaven, the manifestation of that longing with which the Heart of Jesus wanted to redeem us. From this sea of infinite Love, Eternal Happiness overflows in torrential streams.

Although we do not deserve it, we open our arms and our whole soul with holy enthusiasm so that this Heart of Love can empty out its bitter sufferings to them, because we experience our greatest happiness when consoling Him.

At your side and with your help, Mary, what can we fear? I know that you are ever at the foot of Calvary. This being the case, let all the crucifixions come, because in the shadow of our Blessed Mother nothing will be too hard for us, for we can do all things in Him who comforts us. Amen.

- Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, "What Jesus is Like"
The Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (Conchita) was born in San Luis Potosi on December 8, 1862 and died in Mexico, D.F. on March 3, 1937. Wife, mother, foundress and lay apostle, the cause for her beatification is well under way today.