Crucified love

Daily Reading for April 29 • Friday in Easter Week

Then God the eternal One responded to her soul:

I want to describe the Bridge for you. It stretches from heaven to earth by reason of my having joined myself with your humanity which I formed in the earth’s clay. This bridge has three stairs. Two of them were built by my Son on the wood of the most holy cross, and the third even as he tasted the bitterness of the gall and vinegar they gave him to drink. You will recognize in these three stairs three spiritual stages. . . .

But though the bridge has been raised up so high, it still is joined to the earth. Do you know when it was raised up? When my Son was lifted up on the wood of the most holy cross he did not cut off his divinity from the lowly earth of your humanity. So though he was raised so high, he was not raised off the earth. In fact, his divinity is kneaded in the clay of your humanity like one bread. Nor could anyone walk on that bridge until my Son was raised up. This is why he said, “If I am lifted up high I will draw everything to myself” (John 12:32).

When my goodness saw that you could be drawn in no other way, I sent him to be lifted onto the wood of the cross. I made of that cross an anvil where this child of humankind could be hammered into an instrument to release humankind from death and restore it to the life of grace. In this way he drew everything to himself; for he proved his inspeakable love, and the human heart is always drawn by love. He could not have shown you greater love than by giving his life for you (John 15:13). . . .

The human heart is drawn by love, and with all its powers: memory, understanding, and will. If these three powers are harmoniously united in my name, everything else you do, in fact or intention, will be drawn to union with me in peace through the movement of love, because all will be lifted up in the pursuit of crucified love.

From The Dialogues of Catherine of Siena, quoted in Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups, edited by Richard J. Foster and James Bryan Smith, revised and expanded edition (New York: HarperOne, 2005).

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