Because our parish is named for the Holy Cross, I think we should become very familiar with saints of the same name, or saints with particular devotion to the Cross. Surely, St. John of the Cross is an excellent beginning: mystic, poet, theologian, Doctor of the Church.
John's writings insist that progress in the spiritual life is only made with difficulty, and with suffering. Asceticism, i.e. leaving something behind or separating oneself from the world is never easy. Suffering, in his writings, produces understanding. His Spiritual Canticle is a poetic reflection on the Song of Songs and has been put to music by John Michael Talbot, "One Dark Night."
St. John's own artwork provided the inspiration for Salvador Dali's painting, Christ of St. John of the Cross. One unique aspect of St. John's sketch was that it took God's point of view and looked down on the crucifixion from heaven.
"In the end, you will be judged by love."