Friday, October 29, 2010
My Jesus crucified,
One particular devotion that I've been trying to cultivate is a devotion to our lord in his passion.I think that it's indispensable for any christian to have a devotion to Christ crucified, especially a (God willing) soon-to-be religious. Christ crucified is the image of the Christian life, especially of the religious life. Death to self, self-sacrifice for the benefit of others,self-emptying, and patience, these are the virtues which are our standard. And so it is that it is true what he says, that he is set before us to be a sign of contradiction. Christ crucified is our standard of holiness, and it is before this standard that we can all see the great failures of our own attempts at sanctity. Christ is the sign, and we are the contradiction to it.
So it is that, as St. Alphonsus says, that we must know our lord in his passion. Not only as one who does so out of thanksgiving and gratitude, though we must do this (Hence, the mass, the memorial sacrifice of Christ's death) but also out of a real desire to be conformed to the same image. I think it's true that if we could learn the science of the Crucified, we would find the Christian life therein. Becuas the Passion of Christ is humility, self-abandonment,resignation, and obedience.
It's not an easy devotion to learn though. I know, because I tried it starting lent. It's so easy to let the outward practices become the devotion, rather than them being only and outward sign of an inner devotion.It's so easy for it to become simply reading some chapters from a book, saying some prayers and kissing the crucifix now and then, without remembering that the heart of the devotion is contemplation of the mysteries of Christ's passion and death.