Thursday, September 14, 2017

Exaltation of the Cross

cross, blog 001

Today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross!! We found the cross above in my sister-in-law's home after she died. One of Mr. Pete's siblings said that it used to hang in his grandparent's bedroom wall. We were grateful to be able to bring it home and now it hangs in our bedroom.


Today's feast really commemorates three events in church history:
Saint Helena's finding the true cross, the dedication of churches built on the site of the Holy Sepulchre and Mount Calvary, and the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem by Emperor Heraclius II.


This day of triumph comes just before tomorrow's commemoration of the Sorrowful Mother. We remember Mary in her sorrow because she willingly picked up the cross that was chosen for her, with all of its joys and sorrows.

In the domestic church, that's what we are called to do too, from doing little things like picking up after our children and our spouse, to teaching our children, or working at our jobs- all the things that go with the station of our life, doing the things we were called to do.

Interestingly, at my stage of life, that cross comes in NOT doing things for my older children as they do adult things for themselves. A few years ago I had to let my son Noah drive on the express way by himself for the first time. I could have driven him, but I had two other kids at home to homeschool and taking him myself would have taken away from his sisters' schooling. Letting him drive alone gave him some independence and a sense of accomplishment. I worried and prayed for him of course, and demanded that he text me when he arrived at his destination and just before he left to return home, but I don't feel bad about that. I put 17 years into raising him so I guess I can be allowed to be a little protective. That certainly felt like a cross to me, one that I had to accept. Now he drives to college every day which is about a 60 minute round trip. I don't worry about him at all - much.

The thing about crosses - they are necessary. But when we accept them, even welcome them, they make us better and stronger. Today we acknowledge Christ's cross and how his loving acceptance of it for our sakes, brought Him to his full glory. That's what we ponder today.

Then From the Universalis Site

The Exaltation of the Cross
What are these Christians about, exalting an instrument of torture?
First, we rejoice that something so terrible should have been transformed into a means of redemption for the whole human race.

Second, we remind ourselves of the fact that Christianity is not an abstract and spiritual religion. It springs from God’s direct intervention in the affairs of the world, a real historical event involving real people and, in the end, a real execution on a real cross. We may theorise and theologise all we like; but all our theorisings and theologisings are nothing without the history on which they are based. Take away that history – take away the Cross – and Christianity is nonsense.

 An appropriate hymn to sing together:

Lift High The Cross
Refrain

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine.

Refrain

Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died.

Refrain

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee.

Refrain

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory.

Refrain







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