SEVEN WORDS TO THE CROSS
Our Lord spoke seven words from the Cross; but there were also seven words spoken to Our Lord on the Cross.
THE FIRST WORD TO THE CROSS
Some never remain near the Cross long enough to absorb the mercy which flows from the Crucified. They are known as the “passers-by.”
The passers-by blasphemed against Him, tossing their heads; Come now, they said,
Thou who wouldst destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue Thyself; come down from that cross, If Thou art the Son of God. (Matt. 27:39, 40)
The Lord was no sooner on the Cross than they asked Him to come down. “Come down from the Cross” is the most typical demand of an unregenerate world in the face of self-denial and abnegation: a religion without a Cross.
As He, the Son of God, was praying for the executioners, “Father forgive,” they sneered: “If Thou art the Son of God.” If He had obeyed their taunt “Come down,” in whom would they believe? How could Love be Love if it costs not the Lover?
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It was on Saint Rafael’s Day that my husband and I first met 62 years ago. And we have maintained an abiding devotion to him. On more than one occasion, when we were in dire need, Saint Rafael helped us, without fail. Now our family has Holy Mass said on great Archangel Rafael’s Holy Day and we pray at my husband’s grave, thanking Saint Rafael for “introducing” us.. I am greatly indebted to the Society’s News page for their beautiful article on this great saint, as I was unable to provide a post of my own due to the constraints of my health. LINK.
Sermon of St. Bonaventure for the Feast of St. Raphael.
Raphael’s name means medicine from God. And we must remark that we can be rescued from evil by three benefits that St. Raphael grants us when he heals us. First Raphael, the celestial physician, rescues us from spiritual infirmity by leading us to the salutary bitterness of contrition, which refers to what Raphael said to Tobias: “As soon as you enter your house, anoint his eyes with gall.” He did so and his father received his sight.
Why shouldn’t Raphael himself perform this anointing? Because an Angel does not give compunction; his role is to show the way. In this gall, therefore, we see the image of the bitterness of contrition, which makes the inner eyes of the soul healthy; a Psalm tells us: “He heals those who are contrite in heart.” This contrition is an excellent eye wash.
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