"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Peace through the Cross

Simone Martini (1333)

The Cross cannot possibly fail.
Do we not adore it?
It too is a cause of our salvation.
God with woman's permission joined divinity to flesh.
Men with God's permission joined this flesh to wood,
That this tree would bear as fruit life eternal.

Where does this divine flesh draw men to Himself?
Precisely where flesh and wood remain joined together,
Men and women with the divine Life,
Extending arms and feet.

I lay myself down, embracing this my tree,
Our tree, His tree,
In total self-gift -- for you for Him, from me from Him,
My dear brother, my dear sister,
That we may be truly one,
And make glad His sacred heart once wounded for our peace.

When His heart was pierced, so was hers,
For they were joined in love.
And for that same love,
So too does His Bride expose her side.
Here, on this tree,
This divine flesh draws men into one.

Did not this tree bear the Prince of Peace?
All those who seek peace, will find Him on this tree,
Extending arms and feet in union with our Lord.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth.
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.

On this Cross the world was overcome.
On this Cross the world will be overcome.
On this Cross God joined to man triumphed.
On this Cross man joined to God triumphs.
Man joined to wood is man joined to God.
Do we not adore this wood?

Here is the burning bush that could not be consumed,
Around which the ground was sacred.
Why could it not be consumed?
Because Love alone, in giving Himself up for consumption
Cannot be consumed.
Love is the endless font of self-giving.
Wood attached to Love cannot be consumed,
Even while it blazes.
This Cross cannot possibly fail.

Come Cross of Christ, hallowed tree,
And curse made blessing.
Graciously allow us to follow Him.
Bear His Body as you did then.
That we with Him may overcome the world,
In union with His passion and death,
Drawing all men fully unto Himself,
Into His precious Body, His Bride
With the glorious and most perfect unity
Of the Blessed Trinity.

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