“Your soul longs to be united to the Lord.
A great and beautiful desire it is,
But first, one must be crucified with Jesus.
Do not let the Cross terrify you,
Because, for love, it is rather a repose.”
– Card from Sr Faustina to Sr Marcelina, 1937
In their writings, the Saints often speak about the Cross and the need for it in the life of the Christian; they generally note that this is not something to be afraid of – rather, they tell us, it is something we ought to embrace. We, of course, are usually terrified at the very prospect of embracing the Cross; perhaps that is why they are Saints and we are not.
The great Saint Thérèse of Lisieux was such a Saint, and she truly embraced the cross placed upoon her in life by the Lord. Here, our own Saint Faustina does much the same, in order to encourage a fellow Sister of whom she was fond; perhaops this Sister was experiencing the cross in her own life. The real point that Faustina makes is that love makes all things possible – even carrying the crosses we must face in life.
That love, then, must be truly extraordinary or heroic – and for the Saints, it is this which leads to their being raised to the honours of the Altar. We might never quite meet this standard – or perhaps we might! – but we must try nonetheless, and be certain that we have loved as much as we are capable of loving.
If we can do this till the very end, then we, too, can hope for our eternal reward in the presence of the Lord Who has gone before us.