Online Edition: September 2007
Vol. XIII, No. 6
Table of Contents
News & Views — Adoremus Conference in California | Priest Training for Singing the Mass | Liturgical Institute: Workshop for Parishes
Nova et Vetera, On the Sacred Liturgy and Continuity within the Roman Rite — by Helen Hull Hitchcock
Transgressive Liturgy — How the therapeutic mentality affects the culture and Catholic worship — by James Hitchcock
Singing the Four Seasonal Marian Anthems — by Lucy Carroll
Readers’ Forum — The Gloria in excelsis | More on the Gloria | More on Bibles | Bible Translation | Revised Lectionary | Latin Language? | Chant for a Tridentine Mass | Decoration of Churches | Parish Mission Statements | Recycling Your Rosaries
September 14 — Exaltation of the Cross
Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — Philippians 2:5-12
O Crux, ave spes unica! Hail, O Cross, our only hope!
Dear Brothers and Sisters, we are invited to look upon the Cross. It is the “privileged place” where the love of God is revealed and shown to us.… On the Cross human misery and divine mercy meet. The adoration of this unlimited mercy is for man the only way to open himself to the mystery which the Cross reveals.
The Cross is planted in the earth and would seem to extend its roots in human malice, but it reaches up, pointing as it were to the heavens, pointing to the goodness of God. By means of the Cross of Christ, the Evil One has been defeated, death is overcome, life is given to us, hope is restored, light is imparted. O Crux, ave spes unica! …
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15), says Jesus. What do we see then when we bring our eyes to bear on the cross where Jesus was nailed (cf. John 19:37)? We contemplate the sign of God’s infinite love for humanity.
O Crux, ave spes unica! Saint Paul speaks of the same theme in the letter to the Ephesians…. Not only did Christ Jesus become man, in everything similar to human beings, but He took on the condition of a servant and humbled Himself even more by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (cf. Philippians 2:6-8).
Yes, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” (John 3:16). We admire — overwhelmed and gratified — the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Ephesians 3:18-19)! O Crux, ave spes unica! …
Through the mystery of your Cross and your Resurrection, save us O Lord! Amen
— Pope John Paul II — Excerpts from homily September 14, 2003
Illustration: Saint Louis Cathedral Basilica Altar Crucifix, Saint Louis (Photo © Saint Louis Cathedral Basilica, used with permission)