Adoration of the Holy Cross – 15 April – Good Friday – The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Faithful Cross!
Faithful Cross! Above All Other
By St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)
Faithful Cross! above all other,
one and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peer may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron,
sweetest weight is hung on thee.
Bend thy boughs, O tree of glory!
Thy relaxing sinews bend;
for awhile the ancient rigour
that thy birth bestowed, suspend
and the King of heavenly beauty
gently on thine arms extend.
Praise and honour to the Father,
praise and honour to the Son,
praise and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One:
One in might and One in glory
while eternal ages run.
The Passion of Our Lord
St Leo the Great (400-461) Pope, Father & Doctor
(Excerpt from a Sermon on the Passion and Cross of Christ)
“TRUE REVERENCE for the Lord’s Passion means fixing the eyes of our heart on Jesus Crucified and recognising in Him our own humanity.
The earth – our earthly nature – should tremble at the suffering of its Redeemer.
The rocks – the hearts of unbelievers – should come forth, the massive stones now ripped apart. Foreshadowings of the future Resurrection, should appear in the Holy City, the Church of God – what is happening to our bodies should now take place in our hearts.
NO-ONE, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the Cross. No-one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against Him. How much more ,does it bring to those, who turn to Him in repentance.
Ignorance has been destroyed, obstinacy has been overcome. The Sacred Blood of Christ has quenched the flaming sword that barred access to the tree of life. The age-old night of sin has given place to the true Light.
The Christian people are invited to share the riches of paradise. All who have been reborn, have the way open before them, to return to their native land, from which they had been exiled. Unless indeed, they close off for themselves, the path that could be opened, before the faith of a thief.
THE BUSINESS of this life should not preoccupy us with its anxiety and pride, so that we no longer strive, with all the love of our heart, to be like our Redeemer and to follow His example. Everything that He did or suffered, was for our salvation – He wanted His body to share the goodness of its Head.
in taking our human nature while remaining God, so that the Word became Man, He left no member of the human race, the unbeliever excepted, without a share in His mercy. Who does not share a common nature with Christ, if He has welcomed Christ, Who took our nature, and is reborn in the Spirit, through Whom Christ was conceived?
Again, who cannot recognise in Christ, his own infirmities? Who would not recognise that Christ’s eating and sleeping, His sadness and His shedding tears of love, are marks of the nature of a slave?
It was this nature of a slave that had to be healed of its ancient wounds and cleansed of the defilement of sin. For that reason the Only- Begotten Son of God, became also, the Son of Man. He was to have both the reality of human nature and the fullness of the Godhead.
THE BODY WHICH LAY LIFELESS in the tomb is ours!
The Body which rose again on the third day is ours!
The Body which ascended above all the heights of Heaven to the right hand of the Father’s glory, is ours!
If then, we walk in the way of His commandments and are not ashamed to acknowledge the price He paid for our salvation in a lowly Body, we too, are to rise to share His glory. The promise He made, will be fulfilled in the sight of all – Whoever acknowledges Me, before men, I too will acknowledge him before My Father, Who is in Heaven.”