When you pray, do you ever sit and gaze upon the crucifix? From an outside perspective, the crucifix is a puzzling reality. Why would we lift high and honor such a horrific event? The brutal murder of the Son of God may not be, at first, something we are attracted to. Yet, the crucifix has a power and a draw for those who gaze upon it in faith because it is not only a horrific and brutal murder, it is, first and foremost, the complete victory over sin and death. The Crucifixion of our Lord was the greatest act of love ever known, because in that act, He destroyed death and sin forever for those who turn to Him with complete abandon. The crucifix is also a sign to us of the self-giving we are called to live. We are each called to enter upon that cross and die with Christ, giving ourselves to others. For in dying with Him, our sins are atoned for and we are able to share in the victory of His Resurrection. Gazing upon the Crucifixion of our Lord transforms us as it opens the doors of the Mercy won by this selfless act of love (See Diary #681).
Try praying before the crucifix. Try sitting in silence and gazing upon it. To “gaze” is more than to simply “look.” When we gaze we seek to look beyond the image we see and to peer into the love that brought Jesus to that moment. We see a God of infinite love who was willing to go all the way to save us from our sins and love us with a perfect love.
Lord, I do desire to gaze upon Your perfect act of love and to see Your Heart, bursting forth with Mercy upon me and upon the whole world. Help me to understand the unfathomable gift of Your Sacrifice and to enter into an eternal gratitude for this gift. Jesus, I trust in You.