Talis est tantaque crucis possessio, et qui hanc possidet, possidet thesaurum. Ego vero id quod omnium bonorum pulcherrimum est re ac nomine, thesaure iure appellaverim; in quo, et per quem, et in quem salutis nostrae summa reposita, et pristino statui restituta est. *
There are those who deride relics of the True Cross : those for whom they are nothing; less, indeed, than nothing . . . and yet these are pieces of the wood of the Cross on which Our Blessed Lord gave up His life for our eternal Salvation : pieces of wood, some of them, stained with that Blood which washes us clean of our sins, and gains us entry into eternal life.
They are, therefore, treasures beyond any earthly price : because as S. Andrew of Crete said, they are the treasures in which all the riches of our salvation are stored away, and through which they are given to us.
If we can venerate a relic of the True Cross today, then, let us kneel humbly and do so : let us do so with reverence, and try and focus our minds, even if only for a few minutes, on exactly what Jesus did for us . . . and try and recognize what we should do to show that, even if we do not, and never will, deserve what He did, we would at least wish to; so that we recognize that we must, constantly, seek to reshape our lives to acknowledge His generous love.
By penitence, confession, and service . . . or at any rate our best attempts at those things . . . we may at least indicate in some slight way our desire to conform to His will : so that we may, in the fullness of time, and after a life following Him on earth, and purging ourselves of our earthly failings in Purgatory, come to see Him in the fullness of His majesty in Heaven . . . a road which begins, for us, with a recognition of the endless, boundless, generosity of His love for us expressed on that Cross.
* How great the Cross; what blessings it holds ! He who possesses it possesses a treasure. More noble, more precious than anything on earth, in fact and in name, it is indeed a treasure, for in it and through it and for it all the riches of our salvation were stored away and restored to us. (Translation from The Divine Office)