It seems that everywhere I turn this past week or so, I'm confronted with the Cross of Christ. On election day, since we had just moved and I had desire neither to drive all thew way back to Lexington to vote, nor to cast my vote in favor of any of the dubious options on the ballot this year. I decided to pray the rosary instead. (My oldest laughed and said it would probably do more good anyways, and in a country that announces election results based on CNN exit polls instead of on actual counted ballots, I tend to agree, but I digress.)
So there I was, and it was Tuesday and my little "pray the Rosary" booklet had me praying the sorrowful mysteries, which is a meditation of the cross of Christ and the events surrounding his crucifixion and death. What a thing to spend time thinking about! I think we Christians so often take the sufferings of our dear Lord utterly for granted. I know I do. I glibly waltz into confession, trying hard to muster up some repentance, only to go forth and sin some more. Isn't that the way of it for most of us? It's good to spend time thinking of his wounds and how I caused them. God have mercy.
But there I was, confronted by the Cross of Christ on a day when our country was making an important decision and I had intentionally disenfranchised myself from the process. "Put not your trust in princes and in sons of men in whom there is no salvation..." I think that would make a good A-political bumpersticker. Perhaps in political type colors of red, white and blue...hmmmm. I digress again.d
And this morning during liturgy, while the gifts were being consecrated and we were all knealing, I was thinking of the Gospel reading we had heard: The woman with the issue of blood who boldly came to touch Jesus, and the Father whose twelve year old daughter was dead who came to ask the seemingly impossible of Him who would trample down death by death. The Father did not know that the situation with his daughter was that dire when he came, to be sure, and the blood-shedding woman, St. Veronica, did not know that He would she His blood for her when she had faith enough to touch his robe, but both of those events, it seems to me found their culmination in the Cross.
And there I was: thinking of my crosses. And wondering, knowing, hoping that such mercy as was shown to the woman and the dead girl and her parents could be poured out in my life, and on my family.
And a stubborn resolve took hold of me in that moment. If nothing else, the cross of Christ makes sense out of suffering in the world and his glorious resurrection offers us hope that there will be a day when the tears will be wiped away, and that there is a Kingdom that is not this one, and that all the earthly things MUST be set aside in order to see that.
Nothing else matters when confronted with the Cross of Christ. So, I'm wondering, how simple and how quiet and how giving would my life need to be in order to really focus on the things that matter most? Perhaps God is preparing my heart for winter lent...