The Mystery and Triumph of the Cross
How radiant is that precious cross
which brought us our salvation.
In the cross we are victorious,
through the cross we shall reign,
by the cross all evil is destroyed.
- Antiphon 3, Lauds: Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
"O Cross, more refulgent than all the stars, honored throughout the world, deeply loved by men, holiest of all things: You alone were worthy to bear the price of world's ransom. O sweet wood, o sweet nails, that held so sweet a burden: save this flock gathered today to sign your praises."
"The liturgy wreathes a garland of poetry and deep mysticism about the Cross. One need only meditatively consider some excerpt from the various hymns or chants in the breviary to sound the sublimity and the depths of this mystery ... Hardly ever does the liturgy view the Cross as an instrument of torture; rather it is the sign of redemption, the sign of triumph and victory over hell. The Cross is presented under the most varied forms, i.e., as a royal banner, as the tree of life adorned with the purple of the King, as a balance upon which the ransom of mankind was weighed out, as an emblem of the victory of redemption. The Cross is also a royal throne because of David's words: 'The Lord is reigning from the wood.'
Lastly the liturgy emphasizes the word exaltation ... The brazen serpent which Moses set up in the wilderness (Num. 21:2-9) was a type of Christ's Cross and its redeeming might. In His discourse with Nicodemus, Jesus drew the parallel: 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wlderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever believes in Him may not perish but have life everlasting' (John 3:14). In the Gospel, Christ voices those glorious words: 'If I be lifted up from the world, I will draw all things to Myself.' In all ages our crucified Lord is the great magnet attracting to Himself everyone capable of beign saved. His degradation on the Cross corresponds to His exaltation: 'Therefore God has exalted Him and has given Him a name that is above all names.' Resemble Christ in His humiliation and you will resemble Him in His exaltation."
- Dr. Pius Parsch on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross
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