Read the daily quote from Pope Francis

 

Take a fresh look at your home’s crucifix

By:

You never know who will come to your door on seemingly-normal weekend morning. Recently one Saturday, my doorbell rang, and I answered. Two very polite, well-dressed young men introduced themselves as evangelical missionaries. They asked if they could speak with me.

I invited them into the living room. Before little else was said, one of them spotted the crucifix on the wall. Pointing to this image of our Lord crucified, he asked why Catholics seem to like crucifixes and depictions of the saints in their homes. He mentioned that my home was not the only Catholic residence that he had visited like this; he witnessed other places with crucifixes and pictures or statues of Mary and the saints.

“Well,” I explained, “we Catholics treasure crucifixes because of what they call to mind. In themselves, they simply are wood, plaster or even plastic, but we cannot look at them without being reminded that Jesus, the Son of God, died for us on the cross. He suffered for us because he loves us.”

It seemed that this made a little sense him. “Why do Catholics display pictures of Mary, the mother of Jesus?”

I reached into my pocket, withdrew my wallet, and found a $5 bill. It bore the portrait of Abraham Lincoln. I then found a $1 bill, and it showed the face of George Washington.

“You carry the same currency as I,” I said. “Our government has had a reason for placing the images of these particular historic figures on our money. The reason is simple, and none of us can argue with it.

“Abraham Lincoln and George Washington both were presidents in very uncertain times, and they served well. Their leadership defined and strengthened our highest national values. “Washington led our army when our country attained its independence. Most of all, each contributed to what we are today by patriotism and dedication. The idea is that we who handle this money be inspired to be good citizens in our own lives. We have no money displaying the likenesses of Jesse James or Benedict Arnold.” They laughed. I think that they got my point.

We talked for a while. They questioned me about the Catholic religion. I answered. Then they said that they had to leave and offered me a pamphlet. I saw a copy of Our Sunday Visitor lying nearby, and I gave it to them.

They failed to convert me, and I do not think that I converted them, although God works in mysterious ways.

The encounter that Saturday morning helped me, however, not just because I had the opportunity to make the Catholic Church better understood, but because each time that I glance at that crucifix on the living room wall, I remember that conversation and how I explained why crucifixes are important to Catholics.

Even the most humble of crucifixes, the least in artistic quality, has a stunning lesson to tell us. God so loved the world that he sent to us his only Son. Not only did the Son of God die for us, but he also taught us the way to live.

How blessed the world would be if all people heeded the lessons taught by Jesus. How wonderful life would be if all of us paid attention to the Ten Commandments.

We have these lessons because God taught us the lessons through Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (cf. Jn 14:6). He loves us with a perfect, eternal and unqualified love. He loved us as he died on the cross. He died for us because of love.

Of course, as St. Paul urged, we proclaim Christ crucified (cf. 1 Cor 1:23).

Our day and time so often sees too much injustice and evil. We are surrounded by despair and desperation. Look at the rate of suicides. Look at the violent crimes. Look at human insensitivity.

Look at the crucifix. Christ is the answer.

This article comes to you from OSV Newsweekly (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.

 

Catholic News & Perspective

Provides information on the Church, the nation and the world from OSV, America's most popular and trusted national Catholic news source


Recent

Notre Dame symposium to explore marriage, family life

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
By: Michelle Martin The Catholic Church has a rich theology of marriage and family life, one that has been developed to a great extent since the... Read More

Want to see abortion made illegal? Be consistent in supporting life

Monday, July 15, 2019
By: Msgr. Owen F. Campion Despite recent legislative actions in the states and a Supreme Court ruling, we still have work to do regarding abortion.... Read More

Opening the Word: The good Samaritan

Friday, July 12, 2019
By:  Timothy P. O'Malley The greatest threat to the Gospel may be not secularization or a culture hostile to Christianity. Instead, it may be... Read More

California bishops follow up on ‘Laudato Si” to address changing climate

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
By: Brian Fraga  From its picturesque beaches to its scenic valleys, bays, mountains and lush farmlands, California is one of the most... Read More

Real friends really matter

Monday, July 8, 2019
By: Teresa Tomeo Just a few weekends ago, we celebrated Trinity Sunday. And while the Trinity is so mind-blowing that even some of the greatest... Read More

Opening the Word: Finding the joy of the 72 disciples

Friday, July 5, 2019
By: Timothy P. O'Malley In his encyclical Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), Pope Francis describes one of the temptations of... Read More

Maryland’s Peace Cross memorial can remain

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
By: Russell Shaw In approving the presence on public property of a cross-shaped memorial to servicemen who died in World War I, the Supreme Court... Read More

Baptists are facing the same difficulties as Catholics

Monday, July 1, 2019
By: Msgr. Owen F. Campion In early June, the top leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention — the second-largest religious body in the United... Read More

Opening the Word: God gives us the freedom: Which path will we choose?

Friday, June 28, 2019
By: Timothy P. O'Malley From an early age, we come to recognize ourselves as free creatures. The 2-year-old seeks to tie her own shoes, to buckle... Read More

Bishops move toward transparency and accountability to restore trust and credibility

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
By: Michael R. Heinlein The U.S. bishops met in Baltimore from June 11-14 to begin providing their long-awaited response to revelations of sexual... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!