The Cross (again)
I had supportive e-mails sent me that exclaimed, the article containing my thoughts on the Veneration of the Cross was disquieting yet helpful. I would like to revisit (not a good word) the space we should all occupy sometime in our life and if we are honest, it is right front and center before the Cross. I mean not around the back like the Easter People who say Catholics worship on the wrong side as Christians of today are resurrected.
The Cross, for me, is the ultimate victory of the man God who by His resurrection rose as the God Man, that is why He received all power. he was made Judge, Forgiver or Sentencer by His victory over sin upon the Cross. The devil’s plans went astray, his temptation of Judas, his manipulations done on his behalf by the Pharisees all backfired, and Christ was triumphant. What Hope that gives us? I stand or rather pray kneeling before the cross realizing I can never be there to accompany Him. How many times have I asked to share it or to have been there at the time, in some mysterious way.
It was before the Cross-that I received the gift of compunction, the gift of tears, which I hope, is a form of ecstasy.
How many times have I prayed before this gift came to say, “I have two shoulders Lord, let me place this one under your shoulder and this one under the Cross. At least allow me to carry the weight of my own sins for as long as I can”. To date it has never happened perhaps I am wrong and it has it is not for me to know, yet. Often I ask myself, “Why is this?” I have reasoned it is because my sins are so bad I cannot carry them, unable to carry them for a mere second. How deeply My Lord must love me to still suffer for me and still not let me help Him or is it I am so bad He does not need the help of someone like me? That was when I began to cry both publicly and privately. One priest at a private mass was so put out he ordered me to stop and no matter what or how I tried I never could. I cried dreadfully in the confessional.I ask time and time again so as I can confess my sins. “My God, my God how have I offended Thee”, and faithfully confess my answers. Gradually my answers changed from memories of personal fornications with the serpent (not my words) to the names of people I knew of whom I was complicit in sin. I admit I led many less knowledgeable than myself into sin. I was a catholic with good teachers. I know what sin is. A priest told me I was wrong I should not look back over my past life and yet some of these errors I could not genuinely remember confessing. I was away from the sacrament for thirty years and just occupied a space in the pews. One priest during this time told me he would be happier if I returned to what I was and sat quietly in the pews.
I cried in the pews at mass. It became so violent at times that the pews shook and I made every effort not to be a nuisance. As I tried to hide my face, I was told one time to lift up my head and not hide. Suffice it to say so many told me of my nuisance some more charitable said your sorrow will soon be over. I asked a priest when does compunction end? He could not answer, he knew but would not say. Compunction as a gift never ends it lasts the lifetime of this world, sorrow for our sins will always be there and I can say from the thoughts I get there is a lot more to be sorry for than oneself. Charity demands it. We should be more sorry for Christ who we continually "Hurt in the Spirit"
It was long after this I was asked, “Will it fit?” and then later “Do you want to try it for size?” Obviously it is for me a very small cross, but the suffering as always is only as much as one can bear.
Therefore, before you sneer or think disdainfully of my life, I ask you this, each and every one of you. Go before the Cross and ask this, “In the name of Jesus Christ, the Name raised high above all on the Cross, beloved Father how have I offended You?” Try it at first you will not like it.