Sunday, September 28, 2008

Christ's Superabundant Cross

I'm currently reading through 1 Corinthians and the other day I read this verse:

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid;
that foundation is Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 3:11

St. Thomas Aquinas describes Christ's sacrifice on the cross as superabundant, it's like the famous evangelical worship song lyrics 'All of you, is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need, you satisfy me with your love, and all I have in you, is more than enough'.

This morning I was thinking about the motto of Notre Dame University, crux spes unica 'the cross is our only hope'. It was then that I learned this is from an ancient latin hymn called "Vexilla Regis" dating back to 6th century Rome written by the Bishop of Poiters. (now aside from a debate about St. Helen and the True Cross, I want to include a portion of a translation of it)

Vexilla Regis

"Abroad the regal banners fly,
now shines the Cross's mystery:
upon it Life did death endure,
and yet by death did life procure.

Who, wounded with a direful spear,
did purposely to wash us clear
from stain of sin, pour out a flood
of precious water mixed with blood.
...

Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore
the wealth that did the world restore;
the beam that did that Body weigh
which raised up Hell's expected prey.

Hail Holy Cross, our only hope!
Now, in the mournful Passion time;
grant to the just increase of grace,
and every sinner's crimes efface.

Blest Trinity, salvation's spring
may every soul Thy praises sing;
to those Thou grantest conquest by
the Holy Cross, rewards supply. Amen."

This hymn reminded me of another hymn I heard the other day, which I am not trying to commit to memory. It was written by Annie Johnston Flynt who was extremely sick and frail for most of her life, and wrote this wonderful hymn in spite of everything she endured:

He Giveth More Grace

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again."

May you find hope in the glorius Cross of Our Lord, who provided more than enough grace for everyone to be washed of their sins in. May Grace lift us up, help us stand, and lead us on the path to Heaven. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

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