October 18: Song from the Cross
‘Listen! My Lover! “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with Me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone, Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come…” ’ (Song of Sol 2: 9, 10)
Love trumps lust. God’s haunting, healing song that issues from the Cross has unique power to save us from sexy idols. Like you, I am an intrinsically sexual being, but unlike many of you, that area in my life has been twisted and exaggerated by porn and other immoralities. I appreciate healthy sensuality but have not always exercised proper limits; my desires became disordered and distorted my vision of creation. Jesus alone, pierced for my indecencies, rescued me from the domination of lust. Love reclaimed what is creative from the chaos.
Jesus just reminded me of the transforming power of His Cross. The other day, I was in my favorite art museum, Kansas City’s own Nelson-Atkins; I entered a small room featuring Italian Baroque art and my eyes went instinctually to a lush orgiastic piece entitled ‘The Victory of Bacchus’ (the Greek god of wine.) Powerful men and voluptuous women cavorted together naked as they downed decanters of wine. I wanted to plunge into their ‘victory’!
I directed my gaze to the next painting. Glad I did: entitled ‘St. Francis Adoring the Crucifix,’ it illuminated the power of the Cross in a way that honestly captivated me more than the orgy next door. Francis gazes tenderly, love-struck, at the sight of a small crucifix. Jesus is bathed in a silvery light—having suffered, He lives and the light of His life captivates the saint. All Francis’ attention is bound up in this One who was pierced for his iniquities and poured out for his redemption.
I could almost hear St. Francis’ well-known exclamation: ‘My God and my all!’
Love-struck. That’s the power of Christ Crucified: Jesus gazes into our darting, shameful eyes and pours in love. His song of love from the Cross makes the agitated heart peaceful, and invites us into the Love above all other loves.
Next time through the Atkins, I am heading straight for Francis and the Crucifix.
‘The cry of Jesus on the Cross was a birth cry. In that moment, a new world was being born. The great dividing wall of sin was being demolished, and reconciliation was taking place…It is a cry that pierces the centuries, louder than any human cry of war, pain, joy, or desperation.’ Cantalamessa
Join us as we pray for:
1. Northern California, Peter Kockelman – Coordinator : For continuing strength and vision for Peter and group leaders in the region.
2. Living Waters Lithuania: For the Lord to continue to strengthen and protect the leaders Vilma Karveliene and her team; for translation of the revised Living Waters guidebook to go forward smoothly.
3. RHN: Outpost Ministries, Nate Oyloe, Robbinsdale, MN: Grace to accomplish all that is before him in ministry and personal life. First Stone Ministries: Stephen Black, Oklahoma City, OK: Continued unity among the staff and financial provision for the ministry and the staff individually.
“Courage for Pope Francis, that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”