The Tree of Life

Heart 1Today is a special day — not only is it Valentine’s Day, it’s also the second day of Lent. With that in mind, we thought we’d share a wonderful devotional from The Magnificat.  The devotional describes love in a unique way and we encourage you to read it thoughtfully and consider how your relationship with those you love might be impacted.  Enjoy the reading and may it inspire you to love others as Christ calls you to do.

Christ offers grace that redeems the broken vessel of our nature. Access to that grace comes by way of the cross, properly understood. Years ago an elderly woman came to see me. She was married to a miser who, when they were first married, made it known that it was HIS money. And so, over the years, she was careful about spending HIS money.

Her girlfriends took pity on her and would buy her a new dress; after all, this was her cross, they thought. However, Christ’s cross gives life. What she was really doing was running away from the cross, and indulging her weak and fallen nature. Her true cross would be to sit down with the miser and make it known, in a reasonable, responsible, and loving way, that since it was HIS house, his food, and his money . . . he could clean it, cook it, and bank it because she had needs of her own and would be finding a way to support herself.

That’s a denial of self that leads to life. The cross — properly understood — brings life out of death. In her case, death to the fear of her husband, death to her weakness. As a result, she would love herself more and love her husband properly, for love does not enable bad behavior.

Love . . . and the cross . . . gives life!

— Father Emmerich  Vogt, O.P.


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