This beautiful crucifix hangs in the sanctuary at St. Elizabeth's Church in Lubbock (next to the Texas Tech Student Center). It is a wonderful representation of the "kenosis" (self-emptying) love of Christ. This is the love that God is modeling for us! This is the love called for in Ephesians 5 for the husband to love his wife like Christ loves the Church. This is the love that God calls all Christians to!
Never fear! God's grace is powerful. If God calls, He gives the grace. We can grow into this kind of love. It starts with our desire to be truly united to Him and with Him in our sufferings and joys. We then allow God to change us through prayer and saying yes to Him every day. He even takes sinful people like us and transforms us if we let Him.
There's an awesome section in this book which is too long to quote here, but this will give you a taste:
"The power of the cross of Jesus actually communicates strength through the sacraments to the believer to live the moral life: 'It is in the saving Cross of Jesus, in the gift of the Holy spirit, in the sacraments which flow forth from the pierced side of the Redeemer[,] that believers find the grace and the strength always to keep God's holy law, even amid the gravest of hardships.'"
(The Human Person - According to John Paul II, p. 178)
Wow. God's very grace comes from the pierced side of Christ. After being pierced, His heart was totally empty.
Lord, help us to love in a self-emptying way. Help us to be self-forgetful for love of you and our neighbors!