Reflection on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB
It’s a blessing to celebrate the Triumph of the Cross because it immerses us, once again, in the holiest days of the year – the Triduum. In our daily lives, it is easy to get caught up in what needs to be done; this feast is a reminder to sit with the message of the Triduum.
Saint John Paul the Great knew suffering intimately. In his apostolic letter on human suffering, he says,
“The Cross of Christ throws salvific light in a most penetrating way on man’s life and, in particular, on his suffering. For through faith, the Cross reaches man together with the Resurrection. The mystery of the Passion is contained in the Paschal Mystery. The witnesses of Christ’s Passion are, at the same time, witnesses of His Resurrection. St. Paul writes, ‘That I may know Him, Christ, and the power of His Resurrection and may share His sufferings becoming like Him in His death that if possible I may obtain resurrection from the dead.’”
In our own lives, we can learn to value suffering because it strengthens us. The conviction we need to have in order to suffer gracefully is a conviction of love: you only suffer willingly when you love fully. Christ loved fully and He suffered willingly out of that love.