"Every other person who ever came into this world came into it to live. [Christ] came into it to die. Death was a stumbling block to Socrates — it interrupted his teaching. But to Christ, death was the goal and fulfillment of His life, the gold that He was seeking. Few of His words or actions are intelligible without reference to His Cross. …. The story of every human life begins with birth and ends with death. In the Person of Christ, however, it was His death that was first and His life that was last. …. It was not so much that His birth cast a shadow on His life and thus led to His death; it was rather that the Cross was first, and cast its shadow back to His birth. His has been the only life in the world that was ever lived backward."
— Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Prayer to Christ Crucified
Jesus, my God, who, for my salvation and that of mankind, was cruelly nailed to the cross and hung there for three long hours in bitter agony, I am Yours. Amen.