Monday, June 22, 2009

Identity: The Crucifix

Christ is risen... Alleluia! He is truly risen... Alleluia, alleluia!

I start this posting with that well-known dialogue, because we worship a living and risen Lord. Without the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we would have no salvation... but without His Passion and Death, there would be no Resurrection!

Christ's sacrifice of himself on Calvary for the salvation of the world is the key act of redemption itself, an it is what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass brings us to... to the very foot of the Cross of Christ at Calvary... standing there with His Blessed Mother and the Apostle who loved Him!

The Crucifix is a key identifier of Catholic identity... It hangs in our churches (or should!), it leads our processions (or should!), it is venerated (or should be!), it hangs around our necks and on our rosaries. It is what reminds us Catholics of the great love and sacrifice that our Savior and God offered for us! It invites us to not be afraid to carry our own crosses and to offer up our own sufferings.

We are often accused by our Protestant brothers of idol worship, or even worse, that we worship a dead God. But it is they that are missing the point... that without Christ's death on the cross there is no salvation or glory for them to preach about. We Catholics to not look about the Crucifix that hangs in front of us the "end" of Christ's journey... but the portal by which we will also enter into the Death & Resurrection of Jesus.

We Catholics look at the suffering that our God endured for our sins... to remind us how our continued sinning only adds to the suffering which our Lord continues to feel... for in God there is all time, and no beginning and end, so he feels all to well the pain of the sins that we continue to lay upon his yoke.
If one is honest with themselves they realize the difference that one internalizes when gazing upon a cross without a Corpus versus one with our Suffering Lord. It is not idol worship... it is visualization of the Love that is God.

We as Catholics cannot allow for the Crucifix to loose its power to convey that important message of Salvation... we cannot allow it to be replaced by a cross without the Corpus... or to have the important sacrificial offering to be replaced by a cross with the Risen Christ "jumping off " the cross... Christ rose from the tomb, not the cross! He suffered and died on the cross... for us!!

In a time when even some of the shepherds of the flock seem to have forgotten that Christ's offering was a Sacrifice, we must ensure that the Crucifix stands always before us to ground us to what the Church teaches and what we believe... Lex orandi, Lex credenti!

Stabat Mater dolorosa, juxta crucem lacimosa

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Grapevine: Solemn High Mass in Greensboro

Word is spreading that if all the pieces come together, there will be a Solemn High Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church, 2205 W. Market St., in Greensboro, NC on Sunday 21 June 2009, 4pm. All credit to Sid Cundiff who posted this news in the comments here.

The last High Mass that I attended at Our Lady of Grace was just spectacular, and for any of those who have not personally experienced this, I strongly encourage you to assist at Mass on the 21 June.

Here are some photos that I found online (credit News-Register) of the last Mass that I attended....
Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam (Psalm xlii)