Holy Orders sacramentally conform priests to Christ Crucified. Bearing our cross in the service of others, we do indeed suffer. If we attempt to bear that cross without the aid of Christ’s grace, it cripples us. But if we seek His grace prudently and prayerfully, we experience His Cross for what it truly is: the Tree of Life. Elaborating upon this spiritual insight, the sermons in this collection repeatedly return to the Philippians hymn of Christ’s self-abasement. That hymn lauds His death upon the Cross, but it does not conclude there. Rather, it joyfully proclaims that God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should how, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). To be conformed to Christ Crucified, therefore, is to be conformed to the Living One who is not to be found among the dead (cf. Luke 24:5). It is to be conformed to the Risen Lord Jesus Crucified who is Wounded Love Victorious (from the introduction).
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