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“Widows and mothers who have lost children kneel before him weeping. For his eyes still look lovingly and with concern through the dark shadows of death that surround him, upon the mother whom he must leave lonely.

Lovers prostrate themselves before the crucified. For with him is all the strength of love and all the strength that turns the disillusion of love into that love which is stronger than death, into that unique love of Christ that can feed on its own fire and stay alive.

Before the cross the scholars and wise men of this world kneel. They learn thereby that all wisdom that does not burn in the blessed foolishness of love is vain; they learn thereby that the logic of the cross, which to the Greeks is folly and to the Jews a scandal, is God's wisdom and God's strength for those who are saved by it. And they learn that it has pleased God to save the world through the folly of the cross, before which every mouth is dumb and all the wisdom of the world humbles itself before the folly of divine love.

 God's priests kneel before the cross because they have to preach the cross and they are always drinking from the chalice of his failure. They kneel there because, with their sins and weakness, they are always putting themselves between God's light and people, because more than all others they need his mercy”.

Fr Karl Rahner SJ (1904-1984)


“I thank you O my God for all the graces you have granted me , especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering…I hope in heaven to resemble you and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of your passion”.

St Therese of Lisieux, Story of a soul.


“All of us who have lain crucified on beds of pain, remember that an hour will come when we will be taken down from that cross, and the Savior shall look upon our hands and feet and side to find the imprints of his wounds which will be our passport to eternal joy. The cross is not something that has happened; the crucifixion is something that is happening and it can be found at any place and at any hour in the human race. Like I am, every person is on a cross. Some ask to be taken down like the thief on the left; others, like me, ask to be taken up like the thief on the right”.

Quoted in Scars, by Fr Paul Murray OP.


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