Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Save us, O Holy Cross.

Signpost of the times,
Gnomon of the age,
Axes of creation,
Save us, O Holy Cross.

Mast of a drifting planet,
Plumb line of a crooked world,
Knife of Caesar sectioning the globe,
Downspout of the blood that waters the earth,
Save us, O Holy Cross.

Caltrop of the four horsemen,
Pestle of the balm of Gilead,
Stalking horse of the hunter of death,
Executioner of the executioners of God,
Save us, O Holy Cross.

Scarecrow of the angel of death,
Clothestree of the garment of life,
Hilt of the sword that pierced Satan
Made haft of the ploughshare that harrows hell,
Save us, O Holy Cross.

Spindle of the scroll of Moses,
Spine of the songbook of David,
Seal of the sayings of Solomon,
Altar, ambo, throne:
Save us, O Holy Cross.

Driest bone in the valley of Ezekiel,
Wettest beam on the altar of Elijah,
Fiat of unspeaking creation to the
bearing of the Lord,
Save us, O Holy Cross.

Looking-glass of Our Lady,
Gallows square of St. Joseph,
Thorn of the apostle,
Quill of the evangelist,
Arbor of the vine and branches,
Skeleton of the skeleton of God:
Save us, O Holy Cross.

Nail in the palm,
Thorn in the brow,
Lance in the side of the world;
Save us, O Holy Cross.

—Ross McCullough

Image by Pixabay via Creative Commons. Image cropped.