Fear the cross no
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
October 15, 2019
WE have to learn to lose
any fear of the cross. That instinct of ours to be afraid and to
flee from the cross has to be reversed, and made into an instinct of
love for the cross.
This may take time and
effort, this may require a lot of thinking and discipline, this may
involve some drastic and even painful adjustments in our
understanding of things, but it is all worthwhile to do so.
When we lose the fear of
the cross and develop the love for it instead we would have the
proper light to guide us in our life here on earth. Not only that,
we can have the invincible peace and joy that is proper to us as
persons and as children of God.
Opus Dei founder, St.
Josemaria Escriva, often repeated the motto, “Lux in cruce, gaudium
in cruce, requies in cruce,” (light in the cross, joy in the cross,
peace in the cross), to remind himself and everybody else that it is
in the cross of Christ where we have the path and the instrument of
our human salvation.
Again it’s good to be
theological in our understanding of the cross because the mere human
attitude toward the cross can never fathom the crucial and
indispensable significance the cross of Christ possesses.
Christ’s cross, which
Christ himself told us to carry (cfr. Mt 16,24), converts that tree
of death that led to the downfall of our pristine humanity in Adam
and Eve into a tree of life that brings us back again to God, our
Father and Creator.
It is this cross that
assumes all the sins of men and destroys them. It is this cross that
reopens the gates of heaven to us after it was closed due to our
sins. We need to engrave these theological truths of the cross so we
can be guided properly.
In other words, this cross
enables us to handle the worst condition that can happen to us in
this life, and to convert that condition into a means of our
salvation. Thus, whenever we have the cross, in whatever concrete
form it comes – whether physical, moral or spiritual – we have to
bear it with Christ always. It would then become Christ’s cross, and
not just any cross, and as such it is a redemptive cross.
It would also be a cross
that is not simply ours, borne only by our own selves. It becomes
the cross of Christ who has assumed all the sinfulness of men
without committing sin. (cfr. 2 Cor 5,21) Somehow it is a cross that
is not as heavy as when it is simply ours, carrying it without
Christ carrying it for and with us.
We obviously have to adapt
our attitude, thinking and reactions towards the cross according to
what our faith teaches us. We have to go theological in this, not
merely physical, emotional or mental. Thus, we have to be ready to
follow what Christ told us whenever we encounter crosses in our
Like, we have to learn to
love our enemies, to pray for them. We have to offer the other cheek
when we are slapped in one cheek. We have to learn to be charitable
and magnanimous when we are misunderstood, mistreated, insulted,
offended. We have to learn to be patient and humble when humiliated.
We have to regard others as better than us, always concerned about
their interest rather than focusing simply on ours.
There are many more forms
of how to bear our cross the way Christ bore his, and thus make our
cross also the cross of Christ, a cross that is redemptive and
worthy of being loved and exalted.
We should not only lose
fear of the cross, but rather love it, and actively look for it,
since that is the only way to our salvation, given our wounded and