John 18: 1-40; 19: 1-42
The Passion according to John
Please do me the favor of telling the Holy Father that perhaps he, one day, will realize what he does not presently see. I am not speaking about myself but about the Society. He will weep for having used during an audience a procedure which was not in accordance with God. Only God knows whether I shall survive all of the bitter things that have occurred. I have not lost sight of my conformity to his divine will, for doing his most loveable divine will is my total pursuit. However, I am not made of iron or of bronze. To face continuous, baseless rebukes and invectives, without due process, both of my conduct and that of others, is a very bitter chalice to drink. All of this, however, is very little, considering my own demerits. Still, I glory in being a son of the Church and, wretched though I may be, I have not lost my faith. Excuse this outburst of mine which is meant for you alone, for I am besieged with sadness, yet I have not allowed any of this to leak out even to my companions, realizing that the war that is being waged is brought on by the enemy, and in the most despicable way.
St. Maria de Mattias
"By silence and prayer we will come to understand much better the preciousness of the cross, made sacred by the precious blood of Cross." 1863
"The Cross is always dear to those who truly love Jesus. Whoever love the Cross gives a sure sign that she holds in her heart a genuine love for Jesus. My dear, let us never move away from the Cross, for this is the key to the treasures of heaven. This is the gate of Paradise." 1847
St. Gaspar writes a great deal about the cross. The cross can be found also in the writings of St. Maria de Mattias, foundress of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. As she said, "The cross is always dear to those who truly love Jesus." For all the saints the cross stands at the center of our lives. For Francis de Sales it was the only road to heaven. For St. Gaspar it was the only book to read.
I remember once a couple experiencing trouble with their marriage. After many months they were communicating more effectively. One day there was a crisis. He was laid off from work. Her work was cut back. There was fear and frustration and anxiety. When they came to talk to me I noticed she was identifying with his fear rather than telling him to work harder. He was listening to her anxiousness without taking responsibility for it or telling her to settle down. I remarked how they were caring for one another and doing so well. She responded by asking, "if we are doing so well, why is life falling apart?"
Well, we follow someone who died on a cross, who experienced the worst and cruelest form of capital punishment. Life will fall apart. The struggles and trials of life and love will prove us and refine us into fire tried gold. Maturity comes, for St. Gaspar, through "thorns, crosses and hardships." What we will discover in the midst of these crosses is unconditional love.
-What are the thorns and hardships now?
-What successes do I adore?
-How might I take better care of another person?
 from Letter 1207 to Msgr. Bellisario Cristaldi, July 20, 1825, Resources 8, Stroke of the Pen II, pg 29‑30