Today is the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. I like to think of it as the triumph of God’s incredible love for us. Below is a reading by St. Anselm trying to convey how much Christ loved us from the cross:
Jesus is sweet in the bowing of His head and in death, sweet in the stretching out of His arms, sweet in the nailing together of His feet with one nail.
Sweet in the bowing of His head; for bending down His head form the cross He seems to say to His loved one: ‘Oh My beloved, how often hast thou desired to enjoy the kiss of My mouth, declaring to Me through thy comrades, “Let Him kiss me with the kiss of His mouth.” I am ready, I bow My head, I offer My mouth to be kissed as much as thou wilt. And say not in your heart, “I seek not such a kiss which is without beauty and loveliness, but I seek a glorious kiss which the angelic citizens of heaven seek ever to enjoy.” Be not thus mistaken, for unless you kiss that first mouth you will never reach to that other. Kiss therefore the mouth that I now offer to you, for though it be without beauty or loveliness it is not without grace.’
Sweet in the stretching out of His arms; for in extending His arms He reveals how He desires our embraces, and seems to say: ‘O all you that labor and are heavy burdened, come and be refreshed within My arms. See how I am ready to gather you all within My arms; then come all. Let no one fear to be repulsed, for I desire not the death of the sinner but that he be converted and live. My delights are to be with the children of men.’
Sweet in the opening of His side; for that opening reveals to us the riches of His goodness and the charity of His Heart towards us.
Sweet in the nailing of His feet with one nail; for by that He says to us: ‘Lo, if you think that I must flee from you, and so are slow to come to Me, knowing that I am swift as the hart, see that My feet are fixed by a nail, so that I can in no wise flee from you, for mercy has me bound fast. I cannot flee from you as your sins deserve, for My hands are fixed with nails.’
Good Jesus, humble Lord, dear Lord, sweet in mouth, sweet in ear, unknowable and untellably pleasant, kind and merciful, mighty, wise, benign, generous but not rash, exceedingly sweet and gentle! Thou alone art the highest good, beautiful above the sons of men, fair and comely, the chosen of thousands and all-desirable! Fair things become the fair. O my Lord, now my whole desires Thine arms and Thy kiss. I desire nought but Thee, as though no reward were promised. If hell and heaven were not, yet would I long for Thee, for Thy sweet good and for Thyself. Thou art my constant meditation, my word, my work. Amen.”
– St. Anselm