A Reflection on the Cross from St. Louis de Montfort

Happy feast of the Exultation of the Cross!

In honor of this feast, we offer you a short reflection from St. Louis de Montfort’s “Letter to the Friends of the Cross.”  

Let that man (or woman) so rare “far beyond the price of pearls,” take up his cross joyfully, embrace it lovingly, and carry it courageously on his shoulders, his own cross, and not that of another – his own cross which I, in my wisdom, designed for him in every detail of number, measure and weight; his own cross which I have fashioned with my own hands and with great exactness as regards its four dimensions of length, breadth, thickness and depth; his own cross, which out of love for him I have carved from a piece of the one I bore to Calvary; his own cross, which is the greatest gift I can bestow upon my chosen ones on earth; his own cross, whose thickness is made up of the loss of one’s possessions, humiliations, contempt, sufferings, illnesses and spiritual trials, which come to him daily till his death in accordance with my providence; his own cross, whose length consists of a certain period of days or months enduring slander, or lying on a sick-bed, or being forced to beg, or suffering from temptations, dryness, desolation, and other interior trials; his own cross, whose breadth is made up of the most harsh and bitter circumstances brought about by relatives, friends, servants; his own cross, whose depth is made up of the hidden trials I shall inflict on him without his being able to find any comfort from other people, for they also, under my guidance, will turn away from him and join with me in making him suffer.

“Let him take up,” that is, let him carry his cross and not drag it, or shake it off, or lighten it, or hide it. Instead, let him lift it on high and carry it without impatience or annoyance, without intentional complaint or grumbling, without hesitation or concealment, without shame or human respect.

“Let him take it up” and set it on his brow, saying with St. Paul, “The only thing I can boast about is the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Let him carry it on his shoulders like our Lord, that it may become the source of his victories and the sceptre of his power: “Dominion is laid upon his shoulders.”

Let him set it in his heart, where it may, like the burning bush of Moses, burn day and night with the pure love of God without being consumed!

“The cross”: let him carry it, for nothing is so necessary, so beneficial, so agreeable, or so glorious as to suffer something for Jesus Christ.

What do you think of St. Louis de Montfort’s reflection? Let us know in the comments.

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