On Holy Cross Day
The Carthusian Order has long lived by the Latin motto stat crux dum volvitur orbis - "The Cross is steady while the world turns." Every year on September 14th, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Cross, which commemorates (according to the legend) the "discovery" of the True Cross by Saint Helen and the subsequent consecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on September 14th in the year 335.
This is also a feast for my priestly fraternity the Society of the Holy Cross, whose motto for parish priests is this: "No desertion, no surrender, dig a pit for the Cross." Both of these mottos remind us that in the midst of a bewildering and chaotic world, the Christian must cling to the Cross of Christ for victory, and must embrace all manner of suffering for the good of the soul. This culture of witness to the Gospel by the embrace of suffering is something our culture very much needs, especially as it devolves further into a culture of death, elevating death as a means of escape from suffering - through abortion, suicide, and so-called euthanasia. For the Christian, we see how the Cross, an instrument of a shameful death, is made to be the means of life. This means that pain and suffering must be embraced as salvific, not as ordinary cruelty. To be clear, we have a duty to ease suffering, but Christians have always understood that the voluntary embrace of its sanctifying power is a means of intimacy with the Crucified Christ.
As we meditate on the power of the Cross, I call upon you to consider which crosses the Lord has called you to bear, and how the bearing of those crosses just might be the means of a great witness to the world and the means of your own sanctification, especially as the world around us, so full of chaos and sin, seems to become evermore wild.