A beautiful wooden crucifix from Jerusalem hangs in a prominent place in my living room – a gift from Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox from one of their Holy Land Pilgrimages. It serves to remind me of the extraordinary power in the cross.
The Evil One wants us to stay away from the cross at all costs. I doubt he really cares what does the trick – any worldly distraction that keeps our minds elsewhere will do, just as long as we don’t think about or meditate upon the cross. Why? Because the cross settles forever the question of how much God really loves us. Just think about it – love was compressed for all history in that singular Person on the cross, who could have called down angels at a moment’s notice, but chose not to – because of us.
This love that God first showed us now calls us, in return, to love the Father. My thoughts turn naturally to St. Paul for, at this time, Mary Jane Fox is leading a pilgrimage to Turkey and Greece “In the Footsteps of St. Paul”. Paul’s zealousness for seeing Christ proclaimed, churches established, and the body of believers built up, gave rise from his ever deepening love for Our Lord. “That I may know Him” was the primary passion of his life. May God grant that we follow in his footsteps.
However, no matter how much of the Bible we know, how many homilies we have heard, or how many hours spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament, we are all still light-years away from knowing God perfectly. The man who believes that he has “arrived” will not go any further. We must follow in the example of the great saints who all had yearning hearts. Their longing for God all but consumed them, propelling them to great spiritual heights.
Growing in faith is a process and every year we grow, we will find God bigger. As we grow in our knowledge of and relationship with Our Lord, He should be seen as more loving, more sovereign, more holy, and more omniscient, than the year before. Of course, it’s not Him changing – it is us who are changing. Refuse to stop at what you already know of God, there is so much more… and this journey of love begins with the cross.