Exaltation of the Holy Cross

From a prayer to the Holy Cross by St. Anselm of Canterbury:

We do not acknowledge you because of the cruelty that godless and foolish ones prepared you to effect upon the most gentle Lord, but because of the wisdom and goodness of him who of his own free will took you up. For they could not have done anything unless his wisdom had permitted it, and he could not suffer except that in his mercy he willed it.

They chose you that they might carry out their evil deeds; he chose you that he might fulfill the work of his goodness. They that by you they might hand over the righteous to death; he that through you he might save sinners from death. They that they might kill life; he that he might destroy death. They that they might condemn the Savior; he that he might save the condemned. They that they might bring death to the living; he that he might bring life to the dead.

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