“As members of the body of Christ, we experience the death and resurrection that Jesus did. Everything in our lives—the heights of joy and triumph, the depths of suffering and death—is united with the life of Christ. The cross is before us now with its wordless challenge to love beyond death. Take some time this week to think about events in your own life that have given you an experience of Jesus’ command to pick up your cross and follow him.”

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

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“Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”

— St. Rose of Lima

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“The queen bee never settles in her hive without being surrounded by her swarm, and charity never takes possession of the heart without bringing in her train all other virtues, exercising them and bringing them into play as a general his troops. But she does not call them forth suddenly, all at once, nor in all times and places. The good man is like a tree planted by the water-side that will bring forth its fruit in due season, because when a soul is watered with charity, it brings forth good works seasonably and with discretion.”

— St. Francis de Sales