Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Resurucifix

Before a new crucifix could be hung on a wall in our house when I was a kid, it needed to be judged as “acceptably morbid” by my mother. If it did not pass this test (few did), she would pull out the paints and a brush and add a little Isaiah 53 to it. And man could she make it look real. I grew to see these as not a sick reminder of the brutality of the crucifixion, but as a reminder of the gift I’d been given.

Today, nothing speaks to me of love more loudly than does seeing Jesus Christ, God-made-Man and savior of all, nailed to a cross. A life not taken, but freely given. The true value of a gift is not only a measure of its intrinsic worth, but also of what it cost the giver.

Maybe this is the reason I begin to dry-heave in the presence of a resurucifix. You know, the crosses with the risen Jesus on them. Sometimes it looks like He’s jumping or leaping off the cross. Guess I missed the verse in the Gospel where Jesus climbed back up the cross and ascended into heaven.

These silly things make absolutely no sense theologically, biblically, or spiritually. Only in a society where no value at all can been seen in suffering could this exist.

Prayer Before a Crucifix

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Your face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech You 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 Your five wounds, pondering over them within me, and calling to mind the words which, long ago, David the prophet spoke in Your own person concerning You, my Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."


1 comment:

Deogratias said...

These images are an attempt to minimalize the sacrificial aspects of the holy Mass, and thus should be rejected. I have recently been at two churches with these crosses, and it came as no surprise at the lack of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament in these parishes. You cannot love the Eucharist without first loving the suffering that came with the cross. Also, these images remind me of the heresies that denied the humanity of Jesus.- Please pray that the people responsible for putting up these images come around to uniting themselves in the suffering of our Lord Jesus.