Grasping the Cross Today


MARCH 15, 2016
Monday morning, I was asked to be the cross-bearer for Sr. Magdalen’s funeral; Sr. Ann Marie had called me last week and asked me to do it.

I wanted to do a good job, to hold it properly and at the right height, etc. I also wanted to have a good hold on the processional cross so it would not slip down on me. Later, at Sister’s burial, I was also responsible to hold up a smaller, wooden crucifix, a duty I had not known was mine previously.

Holding, even grasping, the cross was touching to me. It inspired me, especially during Lent, that this is what, ideally, I should be doing in my daily life.

Like anyone else, I have my cross to bear. Jesus says in the gospel, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Many saints have made comments on the cross and the value of suffering, including St. Paul in his writings.

There is no getting away from the cross in our Christian life.

How often, though, do we really recognize our cross and take it up conscientiously out of love for Christ?

Do I ever ‘grasp’ my cross, like I did the processional cross yesterday? Do I recall that this is my way of saying “I really do love you” to the One who grasped His cross for us?

I do it every day, but I grew up in a Carmelite convent - actually lived there - and I’m a PhD candidate in theology and a theology professor at a college, so God has kind of been on my mind all my life.

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