Feast of the
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Today is a great feast for the Redemptoristine/Redemptorist family or, as we refer to it, the double institute. It is the feast of the Redeemer, Christ Jesus, from whom our Order and the Redemptorist Congregation take their names. We say with Paul, "May I never boast of anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
In addition, today is the feast of our foundress, the Venerable Maria Celeste Crostarosa, who died on this date in 1755, in Foggia, Italy. It is told that she had received Viaticum and then asked the priest to read aloud the Passion as described in the Gospel of John. At the words, "It is finished," uttered by Jesus from the cross Maria Celeste breathed her last.
With the joy of our celebration fresh in memory and with Jesus invitation, "Take up your cross and follow me," reverberating in the passage ways of the heart, our community enters into an eight-day retreat. You may ask, "How do contemplatives enter retreat time?" My prayer is to have it be different time, slower time, more carefree time, to contemplate the face of Jesus, to gaze upon the face of God.
(Should you be interested in how the friendship between our foundress, Ven. Maria Celeste Crostarosa, and St. Alphonsus de Liguori founder of the Redemptorists played itself out just go to Archives in the side bar, click on 2006, and then scroll down to the entry for May 11, 2006.)