Friday, March 8, 2013
The Suffering of the Cross
Adapted from a conference by Saint Thomas Aquinas, ca. 1265 A.D.
Q. Why did the Son of God have to suffer for us?
A. Because there was a great need,
first, as a remedy for sin, and
second, as an example of how to act, and how to fashion our lives.
Christ on the Cross is the example of love: Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends.
Christ on the Cross is the example of patience: he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth. Great patience occurs a) when one patiently suffers much, or b) when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid.
Christ on the Cross is the example of humility.
Christ on the Cross is the example of obedience. For just as by the disobedience of one man, namely, Adam, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man, many were made righteous.
Christ on the Cross is the example of despising earthly things and following the King of kings in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Do not be attached, therefore, to clothing and riches. They stripped him of his clothes
Nor to honors. They ridiculed and beat him, and spat in his face.
Nor to greatness of rank. They crowned him with a crown of thorns.
Nor to anything delightful. They gave him only vinegar to drink.
Q. Is it not true that Christ exemplifies every virtue on the Cross? Is it not true that the Cross itself is the perfection and fullness of God?