Proof of God's Love

Today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, where the glory of God's love appears. Sometimes one is inclined to see only the dishonor and pain of the cross, and glory first in the Resurrection. But indeed, precisely while raised on the Cross, Christ reveals his glory, the glory of his love and the love of his Father, who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (Joh 3:16), so that we might live forever with him. Christ tells us that there is no greater love "than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (Joh 15:13). The power of love is revealed above all in embracing suffering for the sake of love.

This is true not only of Christ's love, but of our love as well. Love is both revealed, and grows through suffering for love–not only when we accept great sufferings out of love, but also when we put up with minor irritations from family, friends, co-workers, for their sake and for God's.

Does this mean we should go out and seek the greatest sufferings possible? No, because there is an even more important principle involved: as Christ did not seek "his own will, but the will of him who sent" him, so above all we need to conform our wills to God's. And it is God's will that we primarily accept with patience or even joy the sufferings in which he plays them, and only secondarily that we sometimes take on other sufferings on our own initiative.