Letters to Young Girls

21 - The Crucifix


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PUBLICATION DATE

25 . 04 . 2024

Rubric

Letters to Young Girls

21 - The Crucifix

Author

The Daughters of Mary

Le Crucifix

Dear Friend,

Mathilda only has a few minutes left to get to her next class on the lower floor, so she runs down the stairs. There are only a few steps left when she tries to get by some students who, unlike her, seem to have all the time in the world. Alas! As she runs faster, she twists her ankle, trips and falls, finally ending up at the bottom of the stairs. Ouch! She hears a cracking sound in her ankle. Some students gather around her and help her get up, but as she goes to put weight on her foot, Mathilda realizes that it is very painful. She is unable to walk on it.

CrucifixSo, it is necessary that she drop in at the nurse’s office. Since the swelling is getting worse and a bruise is beginning to form, her mother is called so that she can take her to emergency where an x-ray can be taken to see if there is a fracture. The doctor examines her and then Mathilda is taken to the x-ray department in a wheelchair. She is experiencing sharp pain and this worries her. What will happen to her? Will she have to have a cast, use crutches? Will she still be able to practise sports? Furthermore, the Easter weekend is coming up. In this big waiting room where she doesn’t know anyone, she feels very much alone with her pain and her anguish. Suddenly, she notices, hanging discreetly on the wall, a crucifix, very present. A sense of calmness comes over her. What a special feeling or impression she has… it is as though she were meeting, unexpectedly, in a new place filled with strangers, a person she knows very well, a reassuring friend! The presence of this crucifix really did her a lot of good.


Seeing a crucifix never leaves God’s friends indifferent. Its magnetism is both powerful and gentle at the same time. Like a mysterious calling, it exerts an inexpressible but very real attraction on them. It can happen to all of us that when we discover a crucifix, our soul spontaneously expresses a prayer of love, sometimes even with a moving feeling of compassion, for the suffering Christ bound to it.

When our eyes suddenly see a crucifix, the heart meets a kind and loving Presence in its life. It is no longer alone! In its solitude, it recognizes a Friend, finds the strength to carry on in its sufferings, experiences peace amid the storm, a vivifying silence of love. The love produced by this exchange of glances between you and the Lord on the cross is calming and offers a sense of security.

In the last years of her life, in her apartment at the Residence of the Lady, Marie-Paule had a large crucifix on the wall in her office as well as one in her bedroom. They were very expressive and beautiful. She would often cast a loving glance towards it, a glance that was sometimes even deeply moved at the thought of Christ’s suffering, and she would talk to Him familiarly.

In Life of Love, she wrote something, concerning a particular holy picture, which can also be applied to a crucifix: “As for me, I have always before my eyes the engaging picture of my loving Jesus… This simple glance of love, or the imploring prayer I address to Him, are sufficient to restore my serenity when I bend under the burden. He is there, and I contemplate Him in His presence, mysterious, effective…. I offer Him these thousands of regards charged with love, and the ardent prayers which become my permanent relationship with Him.” (Life of Love, vol. II, chap. 52, p.  246)

During these Holy Days presently unfolding, we will recall Christ’s painful Passion, lived out of love for humanity, and we will be invited to venerate the cross. Let us remember that it is always with a glance of love that our eyes, our hearts and our souls must look at the crucifix which teaches us so much about Christ’s infinite Love.


Coeur fleuriMathilda is back home with the diagnosis of a sprain. Sitting in an armchair in the living room, her sore foot elevated and with an ice pack on it, she tells her mother that she saw a crucifix in the waiting room of the x-ray department. “He was there for you and He hoped your eyes would meet so that He could tell you He loves you,” her mother replies. After a moment of silence, she adds: “It’s too bad that in a large number of hospitals, the crucifixes were taken away.” Mathilda thinks about this.

In any case, today, she was happy to have met Christ and He was a real comfort to her during the day’s ordeal. Who knows, perhaps there were other sick people or passers-by who secretly felt, in their innermost  depths, a little more courage or serenity when they saw it today? For the crucifix is Jesus talking to men’s hearts and telling them He loves them.

“Thus, [may He] become always more and more [your] great Friend!” (Id.)

The Daughters of Mary


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