Beneath the Cross One Learns to Love

March 29, 2021

By Sister Brenda Whelan

The cross under which we gather for these next days and weeks is the cross where we learn to love, where we learn to let ourselves be loved.

This cross is a cross of condemnation . . . the cross where we may condemn or be condemned for color or race, addiction, or sexual identity. Beneath this cross we can learn to love the one who is other and accept ourselves as other.

This cross is one of acceptance . . . acceptance of crosses: the cross of COVID, of fear and worry, doubt and uncertainty, the cross of isolation. Beneath this cross we can learn to love those who are carrying crosses and learn that it is okay to have our own.

This cross is one of falling and getting up and falling again. Beneath this cross we learn to help the other up, to be their strength, their reason to believe in love. It is the cross where we can accept an outstretched hand and let ourselves be loved.

This cross is one where we can recognize in the eyes of another the pain they have endured. Beneath this cross we can learn to love another enough to stand with them and love ourselves enough to let another stand with us.

This cross is one where we can cry openly for those who lack resources, the bare necessities of life . . . those who lack shelter or food, those who are bullied or excluded. Beneath this cross we can learn to love and care for all peoples, and we can let ourselves accept the help that we might need.

Beneath this cross we can learn to love . . . only if we can learn to let ourselves be loved as well.

The eternalness of God’s love promises each of us that someone will be standing with us in our darkest hours, in our Lent . . .

In our resurrection, that will come . . . if we are willing to stand beneath the cross and learn to love and be loved.

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    Thank you very much for this reflection Brenda.

  2. Nancy Donovan

    Thank you Brenda

  3. JMH

    Well said. Thank You.

  4. Mary Daly

    Thank you for your profound and moving reflection, Brenda.

  5. Denise Bennett

    Thank you, Sister, for pointing us in the direction of the cross this Holy Week in a way that should continue to lead us the next 51 weeks with purpose.

  6. Philip A. Casoria Sr.

    The Cross Is Our Answer To Any doubts or fears
    Please Pray for my Daughter Ann-Marie Geyer Who has just contracted Covid 19.
    In Peace,
    Philip A. Casoria Sr. Associate

  7. Laura Angeline

    Under the cross. Very powerful as the reflection of Christ carrying the burden of all of us. I had an epiphany of what willingness it is to fall down, get up and fall down again. Only to once more stand up and stand with our Savior. If He can carry the burdens of the world because of His love for us. The cross is the symbol for burdens we carry – for ourselves and each other, hopefully in prayer and love

  8. Fran Repka

    Thank you, Brenda, for your reflection and certainty steeped in God…that Love is at the core of it all.

  9. Jackie Ann Moreau

    Your message is simple and hopeful. Thank you.

  10. Mary Ellen Twist, RSM

    Thanks so much, Brenda, for your reflection, calling us to see ourselves at the foot of the cross this week.

  11. Louise Simon, Mercy Associate.

    Sr. Brenda, Thank you for this beautiful and moving reflection.

  12. Cathleen Cahill, RSM

    Powerful. Thank you.

  13. Natalie Rossi


    Thank you for your beautiful words. Love is the answer.

  14. Sister Mary Ann Schimscheiner

    Thank you Brenda for your reflection. It certainly comes from the heart, recognizing the crosses we all experience in life. Blessed Easter.
    S. Mary Ann Schimscheiner

  15. Erencia Saipweirik

    Thank you for your meaningful reflection.

  16. Erencia Saipweirik

    Thank you for your meaningful reflection.

  17. Helen Doherty

    I just read this. It’s terrific. Thanks for doing it!
    Sr. Helen Doherty

  18. Ann McGovern

    Nice reflection, Brenda. Love freely given.

  19. Marianne Comfort

    Thank you for this lovely reflection. I only wish that the illustration had depicted a brown or Black Jesus, especially since it is placed directly under words speaking of people being condemned “for color or race.” It seems like a missed opportunity to depict a Jesus more true to his Middle Eastern setting.

  20. Diane Matje, RSM

    Brenda, thank you so very much for your beautiful reflection. So thought provoking and powerful!

  21. Barb Freemyer

    Thank you, Brenda
    Easter Blessings to you.

  22. Pat Lapczynski

    Thank you Brenda. Your reflection was beautiful.