“Pattern your life on the mystery of the Lord’s Cross.”
In the Rite of Ordination of a Priest, the Bishop gives this exhortation to the ordinandi immediately prior to the reception of the sacrament.
I’ll never forget these words so long as I live.
However they are quite difficult to live.
I think if we are honest we must admit that life is a long series of crosses…an endless succession of death. We can either realize this and despair, or put our hope in the truth that the Cross is the source of all life. “See how the Cross of the Lord stands revealed as the Tree of Life.”
It is only through the Cross that we come to life. There is no life without the Cross. It is one thing to say it and quite another to live it. I am like Peter advising Jesus, “God forbid that any such thing should happen.” I cannot claim, at this point in my life, to enthusiastically embrace the Cross. Clearly I am no saint. If I truly believed in the life-giving nature of the Cross I would beg Jesus to take me to the Cross.
But I am weak. “Say Lord, let’s skip
I’ve been reflecting on all the goodbyes I’ve had lately. Fr. Roger Prokop came to stay with me this past weekend. I said goodbye to him this morning. Goodbye family. Goodbye friends. Goodbye Father.
God help me to embrace it with joy.