I am working on an upcoming prayer service and found this poem from Saint Paul of the Cross to Agnes Grazi, written August 31, 1743. It will be my blog today and the challenge to all of us, to “Live the Holy Cross.”
Live the Holy Cross
Only, only on the Cross
Comes the soul to ripe perfection
Fervent, constant counting loss
Every non-divine dilection.
Oh, if I the news might brin
How the One-in-Trinity
Hides in bitter suffering
Treasure of Divinity.
Since it is a secret thing
Only to the loving known
I, in darkness, wandering
Hail afar the fair unknown.
Yet I know that heart is blessed,
Abandoned on the Cross of shame,
In a high embrace unguessed,
Burned in Love’s consuming flame.
Yea! And double blessed is he,
By this flame no longer warmed,
Who in purest agony
Into Christ is thus transformed.
Happy he who suffers pain
Yet this treasure would forego
Counting self and all things vain
Save His love Who wounds him so!
Take this lesson that I send
From the Cross that Jesus bore.
But in prayer your perfect Friend
Will instruct you more and more. Amen!