Praying to the Cross

I was told earlier that Roman Catholic don’t venerate statues, but venerate the saints depicted in them. There seems to be a line drawn so that veneration is seen as something only to be done to persons, and not to things. This division makes me wonder something: do Roman Catholics not venerate and pray to the Holy Cross?

Again, we do venerate the Holy Cross. Heck, we WORSHIP the Holy Cross.

We regard it as you do: the worship passes on to Christ.

Of course we don’t address the Holy Cross directly as if it were God himself, but we do address the Cross as a form of prayer to Christ:

“Faithful Cross above all other! One and only noble Tree!” (Crux fidelis, Good Friday)

Prayer Before a Crucifix

Look down upon me good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment, while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy Five Wounds, pondering over them within me and calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee my Jesus, “They have pierced My Hands and My Feet, they have numbered all My Bones.” (Ps. 21, 17-18)

Thank you, Techno2000.

I was thinking, however, more along the lines of the prayer porthos11 posted.

An example of a Byzantine tradition prayer to the Cross, taken from the prayers before sleep in the Russian tradition:

Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; and let those who hate Him flee from His presence. As smoke vanishes, let them vanish; and as wax melts from the presence of fire, so let the demons perish from the presence of those who love God and who sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross and say in gladness: Hail, most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, for Thou drivest away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ crucified on thee, Who went down to hell and trampled on the power of the devil, and gave us thee, His venerable Cross, for driving away all enemies. O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help me with our holy Lady, the Virgin Mother of God, and with all the Saints throughout the ages. Amen.

This is the section of Crux fidelis that addresses the Cross in the second person:

above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!

Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.

Tree, which solely wast found worthy
the world’s Victim to sustain.
harbor from the raging tempest!
ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.

Blessing, honor, everlasting,
to the immortal Deity;
to the Father, Son, and Spirit,
equal praises ever be;
glory through the earth and heaven
to Trinity in Unity. Amen.

Thank you for posting this prayer, porthos11. It is a nice one!

Ok, this prayer is on a plaque at the bottom of a life size crucifix, above a kneeler in my Church, when one says this prayer after communion one gains a Plenary indulgence.

What’s a plenary indulgence? And why do you get it for this specific prayer as opposed to other prayers?

That’s another question on another topic for another thread.

  1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471): “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.

  2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

  3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

  4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:

— have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
— have sacramentally confessed their sins;
— receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);
— pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

  1. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

  2. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).

  3. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

Yeah it’s kinda complicated.:slight_smile:

Okay, I will start a new thread then. :stuck_out_tongue:

Btw, is it just me, or did my threads on Roman Catholic practices magically move to the Non-Catholic Religions thread? Haha. Is Roman Catholicism considered a Non-Catholic religion now? :confused: Or did I not notice a new segregation policy that says only Roman Catholics are allowed to make threads in the Catholic forums, even when the topic of a thread is Roman Catholic praxis in itself.

No magic. Your question will get more traffic here or in Apologetics, thus more answers.

Ah, okay. Thanks for the information. I didn’t know that. I’m not sure I understand why though. :o

Because more people visit those forums.:slight_smile:

Wait, really?

You’re allowed to worship something other than God? Or is this one of those language things?

No, we’re not. We worship God alone. Worshipping anything else is rightly called idolatry.

It’s one of those philosophical things rather than linguistic.

I love this topic. I’m also glad someone will start a new thread on Indulgences because that is one of my favorite topics. I thought of starting a thread on the topic but it would be my first thread and I am not sure how to start one.

Great topics. Thank you:thumbsup:

Click the NEW THREAD button. :slight_smile:

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