The Gospel clearly shows us how much our pains of body and soul move the mercy of Our Divine Savior. This is evidenced by the phenomenal miracles He so often performed to alleviate such pains.
But this was not the greatest gift He gave us. Who does not understand that Christ is our Redeemer and that He willed to suffer the cruelest pains to redeem us, does not understand Christ's mission.
Even at the height of His Passion, Our Lord could have instantly ended His bitter pains by a mere act of His Divine Will. At any time during His Passion, He could have ordered His wounds to heal, His precious Blood to stop pouring forth. He could have commanded His lacerations to stop scarring His Divine Body. He could have even ordained a jubilant victory to halt the persecution bringing about His death.
However, He did not will this. He wanted to be dragged along the Via Dolorosa to the heights of Calvary. He wanted to see His Most Holy Mother engulfed in the deepest sorrow and finally He wanted to cry out, in a voice to be heard until the consummation of the centuries, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
Thus we understand that, by calling each of us to suffer a small portion of His Passion, He clarified the unparalleled role of the Cross in the life of man, the history of the world and His own glorification.
Nor should we imagine that by inviting us to suffer the pains of life, He wished to dispense us from pronouncing in the anguish of death our own "consumatum est."
Without an understanding and love of the Cross, without each of us passing through our own Via Crucis, we will not have fulfilled Providence's design, and on our deathbed we will not be able to make our own the sublime prayer of Saint Paul, "I have fought the good fight; I have finished my course. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice." (2 Tim. 4:7-8)
Elites, perfect family organization, intense family love, these are all excellent qualities, but without a love of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ at their root, they will avail nothing. With this love we will obtain everything, even as we are weighed down with the holy burden of purity and other heroic virtues, unceasing attacks and mockeries of the enemies of the Faith and the betrayals of false friends.
The great foundation, indeed the greatest foundation, of Christian Civilization is that each and every soul cultivates a generous love that embraces the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
May Mary help us to exercise this love and we shall re-conquer for her Divine Son the Kingdom of God, which today flickers so faintly in the hearts of men.