The Crucifix in my Chaplain’s Room

The Crucifix in my Chaplain’s Room

Recently the chaplains’ quarters at Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre was blessed by the beautiful Crucifix that was previously put on the chair of the celebrant at our hospital chaplain. To tell the truth this Crucifix filled a certain void in the room. The more I look at him the more I feel Jesus’ overpowering presence.

Each and every time my eyes meet the huge Cross I naturally feel inclined to say a prayer. A prayer which God’s saving grace moves me to pray is the following: 

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.

I love to pray this prayer because it gives me that sense of adoration and blessing for Our Lord. It is right and just that the Lord is blessed by his creatures, especially by the pinnacle of his creation, the human person. Furthermore, as a Christian, consecrated person and a priest I feel more and more the need to adore and bless the Name of the One who has loved me from eternity. 

The powerful presence of this Crucifix makes me realize the great power of redemption. A redemption which is given by Christ for the entire humanity freely, generously and continually. This Crucifix made me understand the immensity of Christ’s love for us, sinners, in that He is offering Himself to the Father so that you and I, wherever we are and will be, are saved. Is there a greater love than this?

Adding to this fact, the Crucifix reminds me of numerous reflections great saints and people imbued with God’s wisdom, have made before the Crucifix.

Regarding the value of the Holy Cross, which she considers as a ladder, St Rose of Lima says: Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven. Moreover, the Holy Cross is the sacrament of God’s unconditional love for all of us.

St Faustina writes: In difficult moments, I will fix my gaze upon the silent Heart of Jesus stretched on the Cross, and from the exploding flames of His merciful Heart, will flow down upon me power and strength to keep fighting.

St Francis de Sales goes further by suggesting that Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers. He writes: Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers. All love that does not take its origin from the Savior’s passion is foolish and perilous. Unhappy is love without the Savior’s death. Love and death are so mingled in the Savior’s passion that we cannot have one in our hearts without the other. Upon Calvary, we cannot have life without love, or love without the Redeemer’s death. 

The Holy Cross is the authentic school of love.

St Maximilian Kolbe tells us: The cross is the school of love.

St Francis de Sales gently reminds me that the Crucifix unites me to Jesus in word and deep, flesh and spirit, mind and soul. He reflects: Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed. Walk very simply with the Cross of the Lord and be at peace with yourself. The Crucifix is God’s existential theatre of a love that never was, is and will be shown here on earth.

St Augustine writes: As they were looking on, so we too gaze on his wounds as he hangs. We see his blood as he dies. We see the price offered by the redeemer, touch the scars of his resurrection. He bows his head, as if to kiss you. His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended that he may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind: as he was once fixed to the cross in every part of his body for you, so he may now be fixed in every part of your soul.

The Crucifix is an outstanding school of what patience is all about.

St Thomas Aquinas meditates: If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid. Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth.

I really want to thank God for the great gift of this Crucifix in my room. I keep blessing and praising God that the Crucifix of Sir Paul Boffa Hospital was brought here, at the chapel of Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre to replace the one we have now in our chaplain’s quarters. This hospital, who only God knows how many prayers he listened to during these nine years that it was placed at the chapel, is of great encouragement for us chaplains to keep finding Jesus in those who are suffering.

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Written by
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap