O Crux ave, spes unica, hoc Passionis tempore! Piis adauge gratiam, reisque dele crimina.
Hail, O Cross! our only hope! During these days of the Passion, increase to the good their grace, and cleanse sinners from their guilt.
These words are taken from the famous hymn Vexilla Regis.
I chose these words as the title of this blog because we are nothing without the Cross. Without the Cross, we would wallow in sin with no hope. Without the Cross, there is no chance at eternal life. Without the Cross, our lives are void of purpose.
You see, my friends, while Good Friday may seem like an inappropriate title in certain respects, it is actually the perfect name for this day. For what other action could have taken pain and suffering and the sins and evils of the whole world for all time and turned them into the richest gain? While the Cross is painful, sorrowful, as well it ought to be, it is good. It is holy. It is our victory.
There is no sin that the Cross cannot redeem for those who are penitent for their sins. Last Saturday, I went to confession after committing a sin of unspeakable gravity. As I began my confession, I wept. I knew the pain I had caused Christ. But Father said to me as I wept uncontrollably, “My son, God loves you!”
And what love God must have for us if he allowed his son to suffer such pain for my sin and your sin! If you were the Father, could you have done the same?
Most keenly, though, I am aware of the power of the Cross to heal disorder in our world, particularly my own disorder of same sex attractions. When disordered humanity meets the ultimate good, humanity is made more perfect. I don’t expect my attractions to change, at least for now, but the Cross shows me authentic love. By following the Cross, we love better. We love more fully. We love more perfectly. We become more like that which we follow.
Friends, let us all mourn as we ought the death of Christ today, mindful of the good the Cross accomplishes, and mindful that it is indeed our victory. O Crux Ave!