Enduring the Cross out of Love of God

February 21, 2022 • 2 min

From The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales, page 185
By His friend, Jean Pierre Camus, Bishop of Belley

UPON THE SHAPE OF THE CROSS.

The Cross, (Blessed Francis says,) is composed of two pieces of wood, which represent to us two excellent virtues, necessary to those who desire to be fastened to it with Jesus Christ, and on it to live a dying life, and on it to die the death which is life. These two great virtues most due to christians are humility and patience.

He wished, however, that those two virtues should be rooted and grounded in charity, that is to say, not only be practised in charity, that is, in a state of grace, without which they are of no value for Heaven, but also from the motive of charity. This is how he expresses himself:

Divine love will teach you that in imitation of the great Lover we must be on the Cross in company with humility, deeming ourselves unworthy to endure anything for Him Who endured so much for us; and in company with patience, so as not to wish to come down from the Cross, not even all our life long if so it pleases the Eternal Father.

The motto of Blessed Teresa was, To suffer or to die; for divine love had attached this faithful servant of Jesus crucified so closely to the Cross that she wished not to live, save that she might have opportunities of suffering for Him. The great and seraphic St. Francis considered that God had forgotten him and lovingly complained when he had passed a day untouched by any suffering; and just as he called poverty his mistress, so he called pain his sister.

Our Blessed Father’s motto was “To love or to die.” In his Treatise on the Love of God he cries out:

To love, or to die! To die and to love! To die to all other love in order to live to Jesus’ love, that we may not die eternally, but that living in Thy eternal love, O Saviour of our souls, we may eternally sing, Vive Jesus. Live Jesus. I love Jesus. Live Jesus, Whom I love! I love Jesus, Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

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