Jesus Crucified Is Our Only Hope

Join Saint Alphonsus Liguori as he meditates upon Jesus Christ crucified. In these excerpts, taken from The Road to Calvary, readers will be inspired to place all their hope in the merits of Jesus, the Savior of the world.

There is no salvation in any other. Saint Peter says that all our salvation is in Jesus Christ, who, by means of the cross, where He sacrificed His life for us, opened us a way for hoping for every blessing from God if we would be faithful to His commands.

Let us hear what Saint John Chrysostom says of the cross: “The cross is the hope of Christians, the staff of the lame, the comfort of the poor, the destruction of the proud, the victory over the devils, the guide of youth, the rudder of sailors, the refuge

of those who are in danger, the counsellor of the just, the rest of the afflicted, the physician of the sick, the glory of martyrs.” The cross—that is, Jesus crucified—is:

The hope of the faithful, because if we had not Jesus Christ we should have no hope of salvation.

It is the staff of the lame, because we are all lame in our present state of corruption. We have no strength to walk in the way of salvation except that which is communicated to us by the grace of Jesus Christ.

It is the comfort of the poor, which we all are, for all we have we have from Jesus Christ.

It is the destruction of the proud, for the followers of the Crucified cannot be proud, seeing Him dead as a malefactor upon the cross.

It is victory over the devils, for the very sign of the cross is sufficient to drive them from us.

It is the instructor of the young, for admirable is the teaching which they who are beginning to walk in the ways of God learn from the cross.

It is the rudder of mariners, and guides us through the storms of this present life.

It is the refuge of those in danger, for they who are in peril of perishing, through temptations of strong passions, find a secure harbor by flying to the cross.

It is the counsellor of the just, for how many saints learn wisdom from the cross—that is, from the troubles of this life.

It is the rest of the afflicted, for where can they find greater relief than in contemplating the cross, on which a God suffers for love of them?

It is the physician of the sick, for when they embrace it, they are healed of the wounds of the soul.

It is the glory of martyrs, for to be made like Jesus Christ, the King of Martyrs, is the greatest glory they can possess.

In a word, all our hopes are placed in the merits of Jesus Christ. The Apostle says, I know how to be humbled, and I know how to abound . . . how to be satisfied, and how to hunger; how to abound, and how to suffer poverty. I can do all things in Him who strengthens me. (In the Greek text, In Christ who is strengthening me.) Thus Saint Paul, instructed by the Lord, says, I know how I ought to conduct myself: when God humbles me, I resign myself to His will; when He exalts me, to Him I give all the honor; when He gives me abundance, I thank Him; when He makes me endure poverty, still I bless Him; and I do all this not by my own strength, but by the strength of the grace which God gives me. For he that trusts in Jesus Christ is strengthened with invincible power.

The Lord, says Saint Bernard, makes those who hope in Him all-powerful. The saint also adds that a soul which does not presume upon its own strength but is strengthened by the Word can govern itself so that no evil shall have power over it and that no force, no fraud, no snare can cast it down.

This article is taken from a chapter in The Road to Calvary: Daily Meditations for Lent and Easter by Saint Alphonsus Liguori which is available from TAN Books



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