Wisdom and the Cross

Crucifixion – Diego Velàzquez, 1632

A dear friend and fellow Carmelite was recently hospitalized. She had an accident which caused multiple fractures and a great of deal pain. The next day, she sent a text which astonished me considering the suffering she was enduring. It was not a litany of complaints, but a testimony to her faith. The text read:

Where charity and love are… God is there!

This is wisdom. A life that is lived in love, seeking the Face of Christ, will find that love on the Cross.  St. Louis de Montfort once wrote, “Wisdom is the Cross and the Cross is Wisdom.” In order to love and seek divine Incarnate Wisdom, who is Jesus, we need to know Him, and to know Him we must follow Him to the Cross. It is at the Cross that the Holy Spirit’s supreme gift of wisdom produces in us the most faithful resemblance to Jesus Christ.

Christ gave Himself to us by suffering on a Cross. When we suffer, and offer that suffering for the love of Jesus, we are giving something of ourselves that turns to joy. St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face wrote about the profound mystery of the cross in her own spiritual life: “I found happiness and joy in the world, but only in pain.”  The reason Therese said this was that she knew that the pain she suffered for souls, in the charity of total self-giving, purified her love and made it triumphant, resulting in a joy and a peace which nothing in the world could take away.

So many in the world are suffering now. Everywhere you turn, you meet the Cross! If only they would seek the Face of Christ in their pain, as my friend did, they would experience for themselves that Christian suffering is divinized suffering. Since incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ, had to enter heaven by the Cross, we must enter by the same way. In the pain that is offered through Christ, the Holy Spirit produces, by the gift of wisdom, a deep and profound peace in our soul, stilling the turbulent waters, and reflecting the most perfect image of the Face of the Son to the Father. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “But we all, with face unveiled, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into His very image from glory to glory, as through the spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18).  Who can comprehend it? But this is the Wisdom of God: His Cross is His glory.

“Eternal Wisdom is a breath of the power of God, a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty. Hence nothing defiled gains entrance into Him. He is the reflection of eternal light, the spotless mirror of God’s majesty, the image of His goodness”  (Wisdom 7:25).

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The ‘Wisdom’ Cross by St. Louis De Montfort

DENY
ONESELF
CARRY
ONE’S CROSS
TO FOLLOW
JESUS CHRIST

IF YOU ARE ASHAMED OF THE CROSS
OF JESUS CHRIST, HE WILL BE
ASHAMED OF YOU BEFORE HIS FATHER

LOVE
THE CROSS
DESIRE:
CROSSES
CONTEMPT
PAIN
ABUSE
INSULTS
DISGRACE
PERSECUTION
HUMILIATIONS
CALUMNIES
ILLNESS
INJURIES

MAY JESUS PREVAIL.
MAY HIS CROSS PREVAIL.

DIVINE LOVE
HUMILITY
SUBMISSION
OBEDIENCE:
COMPLETE
PROMPT
JOYFUL
BLIND
PERSEVERING

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