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BOOK TWO
THE INTERIOR LIFE

Liber Secundus
Admonitiones ad interna trahentes.

Chapter 12
THE ROYAL ROAD OF THE HOLY CROSS

TO MANY the saying, "Deny thyself, take up thy cross and follow Me," seems hard, but it will be much harder to hear that final word: "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Those who hear the word of the cross and follow it willingly now, need not fear that they will hear of eternal damnation on the day of judgment. This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then all the servants of the cross, who during life made themselves one with the Crucified, will draw near with great trust to Christ, the judge.

Cap. 12. 
De regia via sanctae crucis.

1. Durus hic multis videtur sermo. Abnego temet ipsum, tolle crucem tuam et sequere Jesum. Sed multo durius erit audire illud extremum verbum: Discedite a me, omnes maledicti, in ignem Šternum. Qui enim modo libenter audiunt verbum crucis, et sequuntur, tunc non timebunt ab auditione ŠternŠ damnationis. Hoc signum crucis erit in cŠlo, cum Dominus ad judicandum venerit. Tunc omnes servi crucis, qui se Crucifixo conformaverunt in vita, ad Christum accedent judicem cum magna fiducia.

Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit, in the cross is highest virtue, in the cross is perfect holiness. There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross. Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and you shall enter eternal life. He Himself opened the way before you in carrying His cross, and upon it He died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it. If you die with Him, you shall also live with Him, and if you share His suffering, you shall also share His glory.   2. Quid igitur times tollere crucem, per quam itur ad Regnum? In cruce salus. In cruce vita. In cruce protectio ab hostibus. In cruce robur mentis. In cruce gaudium spiritus. In cruce virtus summa. In cruce perfectio sanctitatis. Non est salus animae, nec spes ŠternŠ vitŠ, nisi in cruce. Tolle ergo crucem et sequere Jesum, et ibis in vitam Šternam. PrŠcessit ille bajulans sibi crucem, et mortuus est pro te in cruce, ut tu etiam portes crucem, et mori affectes in cruce. Quia, si commortuus fueris in cruce, etiam cum illo pariter vives, et si socius fueris pť, socius eris et gloriŠ.  
Behold, in the cross is everything, and upon your dying on the cross everything depends. There is no other way to life and to true inward peace than the way of the holy cross and daily mortification. Go where you will, seek what you will, you will not find a higher way, nor a less exalted but safer way, than the way of the holy cross. Arrange and order everything to suit your will and judgment, and still you will find that some suffering must always be borne, willingly or unwillingly, and thus you will always find the cross.  

 

3. Ecce in cruce totum jacet, et non est alia via ad vitam, et ad veram et internam pacem, nisi via sanctŠ crucis, et quotidianŠ mortificationis. Ambula ubi vis, quŠre quodcumque volueris, et non invenies altiorem viam supra, nec securiorem infra, nisi viam sanctŠ crucis. Dispone et ordina omnia secundum velle tuum et videre,et non invenies, nisi semper aliquid pati debere aut sponte aut invite et ita crucem semper invenies. Aut enim in corpore dolorem senties, aut in anima spiritus tribulationem sustinebis.  
Either you will experience bodily pain or you will undergo tribulation of spirit in your soul. At times you will be forsaken by God, at times troubled by those about you and, what is worse, you will often grow weary of yourself. You cannot escape, you cannot be relieved by any remedy or comfort but must bear with it as long as God wills. For He wishes you to learn to bear trial without consolation, to submit yourself wholly to Him that you may become more humble through suffering. No one understands the passion of Christ so thoroughly or heartily as the man whose lot it is to suffer the like himself. The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will -- above, below, without, or within -- you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown. 4. Interdum a Deo relinqueris, interdum a proximo exercitaberis, et quod amplius est sŠpe tibimetipsi gravis eris. Nec tamen aliquo remedio vel solatio liberari seu alleviari poteris, sed donec Deus voluerit, oportet ut sustineas. Vult enim Deus ut tribulationem sine consolatione discas pati, et illi totaliter te subjicias et humilior ex tribulatione fias. Nemo ita cordialiter sentit passionem Christi, sicut is cui contigerit similia pati. Crux igitur semper parata est, et ubique te exspectat. Non potes effugere ubicumque cucurreris, quia ubicumque veneris, temetipsum tecum portas, et semper te ipsum invenies. Converte te supra, converte te infra, converte te extra et intra, et in his omnibus invenies crucem, et necese est te ubicumque tenere patientiam, si internam vis habere pacem et perpetuam promereri coronam. 

If you carry the cross willingly, it will carry and lead you to the desired goal where indeed there shall be no more suffering, but here there shall be. If you carry it unwillingly, you create a burden for yourself and increase the load, though still you have to bear it. If you cast away one cross, you will find another and perhaps a heavier one. 

5. Si libenter crucem portas, portabit te, et deducet te ad desideratum finem, ubi scilicet finis patiendi erit. Si invite portas, onus tibi facis, et te ipsum magis gravas, et tamen oportet ut sustineas. Si abjicis unam crucem, aliam proculdubio invenies, et forsitan graviorem.  
Do you expect to escape what no mortal man can ever avoid? Which of the saints was without a cross or trial on this earth? Not even Jesus Christ, our Lord, Whose every hour on earth knew the pain of His passion. "It behooveth Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, . . . and so enter into his glory." How is it that you look for another way than this, the royal way of the holy cross?   6. Credis tu evadere, quod nemo mortalium potuit prŠterire? Quis Sanctorum in mundo sine cruce et tribulatione fuit? Nec enim Dominus noster Jesus Christus una hora sine dolore passionis fuit, quamdiu vixit. Opertebat autem Christum pati, et resurgere a mortuis, et ita intrare in gloriam suam. Et quomodo tu aliam viam crucem quŠris, quam hanc regiam, quŠ est via sanctŠ crucis.  
The whole life of Christ was a cross and a martyrdom, and do you seek rest and enjoyment for yourself? You deceive yourself, you are mistaken if you seek anything but to suffer, for this mortal life is full of miseries and marked with crosses on all sides. Indeed, the more spiritual progress a person makes, so much heavier will he frequently find the cross, because as his love increases, the pain of his exile also increases.   7. Tota vita Christi crux fuit, et martyrium, et tu tibi quŠris reqiuem, et gaudium? Erras, erras si aliud quŠris quam pati tribulationes, quia tota ista vita mortalis plena est miseriis, et circumsignata crucibus. Et quanto quis altius in spiritu profecerit, tanto gravioes cruces sŠpe inveniet, quia exilii sui pťna magis ex amore crescit.  
Yet such a man, though afflicted in many ways, is not without hope of consolation, because he knows that great reward is coming to him for bearing his cross. And when he carries it willingly, every pang of tribulation is changed into hope of solace from God. Besides, the more the flesh is distressed by affliction, so much the more is the spirit strengthened by inward grace. Not infrequently a man is so strengthened by his love of trials and hardship in his desire to conform to the cross of Christ, that he does not wish to be without sorrow or pain, since he believes he will be the more acceptable to God if he is able to endure more and more grievous things for His sake. It is the grace of Christ, and not the virtue of man, which can and does bring it about that through fervor of spirit frail flesh learns to love and to gain what it naturally hates and shuns.   8. Sed tamen iste sic multipliciter afflictus, non est sine lavamine consolationis, quia fructum magnum sibi sentit accrescere ex sufferentia suŠ crucis. Nondum sponte illi se subjicit, omne onus tribulationis in fiduciam divinŠ consolationis convertitur. Et quanto caro magis per tribulationem atteritur, tanto amplius spiritus per internam consolationem roboratur. Et nonnunquam in tantum confortatur ex affectu tribulationis, et adversitatis ob amorem conformitatis crucis Christi, ut non sine dolore, et tribulatione esse vellet, quoniam se tantum acceptiorem Deo reddit, quanto dura, et graviora plura pro eo ferre poterit. Non est istud virtus hominis, sed gratia Christi, quŠ tanta potest, et agit in carne fragili, ut quod naturaliter semper abhorret et fugit, hoc fervore spiritus aggrediatur et diligat.  
To carry the cross, to love the cross, to chastise the body and bring it to subjection, to flee honors, to endure contempt gladly, to despise self and wish to be despised, to suffer any adversity and loss, to desire no prosperous days on earth -- this is not man's way. If you rely upon yourself, you can do none of these things, but if you trust in the Lord, strength will be given you from heaven and the world and the flesh will be made subject to your word. You will not even fear your enemy, the devil, if you are armed with faith and signed with the cross of Christ.   9. Non est secundum hominem crucem portare, crucem amare, corpus castigare, et servituti subjicere, honores fugere, contumelias libenter sustinere, se ipsum despicere, et despici optare, adversa quŠquŠ cum damnis perpeti, et nihil prosperitatis in hoc mundo desiderare. Si ad te ipsum respicis, nihil hujusmodi ex te poteris. Sed si in Domino confidis, dabitur tibi fortitudo de cŠlo, et subjicientur ditioni tuŠ mundus et caro, sed nec inimicum diabolum timebis, si fueris fide armatus, et cruce Jesu signatus.  
Set yourself, then, like a good and faithful servant of Christ, to bear bravely the cross of your Lord, Who out of love was crucified for you. Be ready to suffer many adversities and many kinds of trouble in this miserable life, for troublesome and miserable life will always be, no matter where you are; and so you will find it wherever you may hide. Thus it must be; and there is no way to evade the trials and sorrows of life but to bear them. Drink the chalice of the Lord with affection it you wish to be His friend and to have part with Him. Leave consolation to God; let Him do as most pleases Him. On your part, be ready to bear sufferings and consider them the greatest consolation, for even though you alone were to undergo them all, the sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come.  

 

 

10. Pone ergo te sicut fidelis et bonus servus Christi ad portandum viriliter crucem Domini tui pro te ex amore crucifixi. PrŠpara te ad toleranda multa adversa, et varia incommoda in hac misera vita, quia sic tecum erit ubicumque, et sic revera eum invenies ubicumque latueris. Oportet te ita esse, et non est remedium evadendi a tribulatione malorum, et dolore, quam ut te patiaris. Calicem Domini affectanter bibe, si amicus ejus esse, et partem cum eo habere desideras. Consolationes Deo committe, faciat ipse cum talibus sicut sibi magis placuerit. Tu vero pone te ad sustinendum tribulatones, et reputa eas maximas consolationes, quia non sunt condignŠ passiones hujus temporis ad futuram gloriam, quŠ revelabitur in nobis, promerendam, etiam si omnes solus posses sustinere.  
When you shall have come to the point where suffering is sweet and acceptable for the sake of Christ, then consider yourself fortunate, for you have found paradise on earth. But as long as suffering irks you and you seek to escape, so long will you be unfortunate, and the tribulation you seek to evade will follow you everywhere.  11. Quando ad hoc veneris, quod tribulatio tibi dulcis erit et sapiet pro Christo, tunc bene tecum esse exstima, quia invenisti paradisum in terra. Quamdiu tibi pati grave est et fugere quŠris, tamdiu male habebis, et sequentur te ubique tribulationes.  
If you put your mind to the things you ought to consider, that is, to suffering and death, you would soon be in a better state and would find peace. Although you were taken to the third heaven with Paul, you were not thereby insured against suffering. Jesus said: "I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake." To suffer, then, remains your lot, if you mean to love Jesus and serve Him forever.   12. Si ponis te ad quod esse debes, videlicet ad patiendum, et moriendum, fiet cito melius, et pacem invenies. Etiamsi raptus fueris in tertium cŠlum cum Paulo, non es propterea securus de nullo malo sustinendo. Ego, inquit Jesus, ostendam illi quanta oporteat eum pro nomine meo pati. Pati ergo tibi remanet, si Deum diligere, et perpetue illi servire placeat.  
If you were but worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus, what great glory would be in store for you, what great joy to all the saints of God, what great edification to those about you! For all men praise patience though there are few who wish to practice it. With good reason, then, ought you to be willing to suffer a little for Christ since many suffer much more for the world.   13. Utinam dignus esses, pro nomine Jesu aliqud pati, quam magna gloria remaneret tibi, quanta exultatio omnibus Sanctis Dei, quanta Šdificatio esset proximi. Nam patientiam omnes commendant, quamvis pauci pati velint. Merito deberes modicum pati pro Christo, cum multi graviora patiantur pro mundo.  
Realize that you must lead a dying life; the more a man dies to himself, the more he begins to live unto God. No man is fit to enjoy heaven unless he has resigned himself to suffer hardship for Christ. Nothing is more acceptable to God, nothing more helpful for you on this earth than to suffer willingly for Christ. If you had to make a choice, you ought to wish rather to suffer for Christ than to enjoy many consolations, for thus you would be more like Christ and more like all the saints. Our merit and progress consist not in many pleasures and comforts but rather in enduring great afflictions and sufferings.  

 

 

14. Scias pro certo, quia morientem te oportet ducere vitam. Et quanto unusquisque plus sibi moritur, tanto Deo magis vivere incipit. Nemo aptus est ad comprehendendum cŠlestia, nisi se submiserit ad portandum pro Christo adversa. Nihil Deo acceptius, nihil tibi salubrius in mundo isto, quam libenter pati pro Christo. Et si eligendum tibi esset, magis optare deberes pro Christo adversa pati, quam multis consolationibus recreari, quia Christo similior esses, et omnibus Sanctis conformior. Non enim stat meritum nostrum et profectus status nostri in multis sensualitatibus, et consolationibus, sed potius in magnis gravitatibus et tribulationibus perferendis.  
If, indeed, there were anything better or more useful for man's salvation than suffering, Christ would have shown it by word and example. But He clearly exhorts the disciples who follow Him and all who wish to follow Him to carry the cross, saying: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." When, therefore, we have read and searched all that has been written, let this be the final conclusion -- that through much suffering we must enter into the kingdom of God. Amen. 15. Si quidem aliquid melius et utilius saluti hominum quam pati fuisset, Christus utique verbo et exemplo ostendisset. Nam et se sequentes discipulos omnesque eum sequi cupientes, manifeste ad crucem portandam hortatur, et dicit: Si quis vult venire post me, abneget semetipsum, et tollat crucem suam, et sequatur me. Omnibus ergo perlectis et scrutatis sit ista finalis conclusio: quoniam per multas tribulationes oportet nos intrare in regnum Dei. Amen.
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