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  • Fr.Terry Ryan, CSP

The Cross


The Cross Wearing a cross around your neck can seem somewhat weird. And when it has a body on the cross it is really grotesque. It is a sign of torture. Catholics wear these things around their necks, like other people might wear jewelry. The cross was the way Jesus was executed. I wonder if he

had been shot by a firing squad, would people wear a rifle around their necks? Now many Catholics wear the cross as a kind of talisman, asking God to help them in times of trouble, or to get out of some mess of their own making or protect them from harm and suffering. But that was not the purpose of the cross. It is not a lucky charm. It meant, on our part, that change is really torturous and we have to die to our ego-centered self in order to become all God wants us to be. The cross is a reminder that we are supposed to be changing each day to become more loving, compassionate, forgiving, patient and accepting, while at the same time trying to make the world a better place for more than my tribe of like people. Most people don't want to do that. They just want rules and laws to make them feel correct and safe. Today is Holy Thursday in Christian circles. Jesus washed feet today. That is pretty ego-deflating. It is a reminder and a check on how I am doing on this change that begins within. It can be somewhat deflating. But I trudge on.

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