14/9: Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Timely Reminder of Victory…

O God, Who this day dost gladden us by the yearly feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who on earth acknowledge the mystery of Redemption wrought upon it, may be worthy to enjoy the rewards of that same Redemption in heaven.  From the Collect of the Mass of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross…

Comment: 

As the horrendous crisis in the Church continues and deepens, and – incredibly –  is set to become even worse with the forthcoming Amazon Synod, today is perhaps one of the best Feasts on which to recall that the battle is already won, that by His death on the Cross, Our Lord has beaten the powers of darkness, and that by living out our vocation to be Soldiers of Christ, in whatever way we can, we show our divine and Catholic faith in that truth.    In the words of St Paul to the  Ephesians:  “Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood: but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places… (Ephesians 6:11ff)

Weary as we may well be at this continuing and worsening crisis, shouldn’t even the shortest reflection on the suffering, crucified Christ serve as a  an incentive to us to face, with renewed energy, our Confirmation duty to be Soldiers of Christ?  Shouldn’t even a passing glance at the Cross make us more than ever determined to battle, with all our might, those same “principalities and powers” attacking Christ’s Church in our times?  Or, as more than one person has told me recently, have you had enough?

 

22 responses

  1. I agree, a lot of people are weary of this crisis. At one time being a Soldier of Christ just meant joining the Children of Mary or the Legion of Mary or the SVDP but now it means fighting bad priests and neglectful bishops, wondering if your priest is a faithful priest or having an affair. But, yes, looking at the crucified Christ does bring it home how much effort we should keep putting in, to fight the diabolical disorientation around us.

    • Michaela,

      One of the most horrible manifestations of this crisis in the Church is the way so many priests have given way to lust. Just when the world needed the witness of self-sacrificing priests, they got the opposite.

      • Margaret Mary,

        I agree – it is heartbreaking that so many priests have been unfaithful. I often think of them and wonder how they will prepare for their judgment, having given way to sexual passions and in so doing have been an obstacle to the faith of so many.

        If they spent their time fruitfully in priestly work and spiritual reading and prayer, they would have the grace to see such temptations for what they are. I love the sermons of St Alphonsus and this one on impurity should have unfaithful priests shaking in t heir shoes – but the blindness that comes from such sin prevents that.
        http://www.catholicapologetics.info/scripture/newtestament/liguori.pdf

        • Yes it is tragic when many ordained men go wrong.
          Whilst owning up to the crisis, I am reminded of a beautiful lady who has now passed to her well earned reward. Her often repeated mantra was ” May God help them – but I blame the ‘wimmin’ “.
          Of course in her innocence she never considered that some (many) may be homosexual. Which is another side of the coin so to speak.
          So yes, we should never tire of contemplating the cross and honour it.

          • Patrick Healy,

            I don’t think it’s always the women. I have seen women being shameless in their play for a priest, but I’ve also seen priests behaving very inappropriately with females. It’s not all one way.

      • Margaret Mary,

        That is so true – just when this sex-obsessed world needed faithful celibate priests the most, that’s when they enter into these “relationships”. The most unconscionable ones have then demanded to get back into active ministry, bleating about a shortage of priests which they have caused!

  2. I think the worst part of this crisis is that most Catholics aren’t even aware that it’s a crisis – the Catholics who are wringing their hands and suffering under this are but a tiny slice of the pie, I’d wager. The blissfully unaware, and especially the liberals, are all for creating a new “church” that will be more up-to-date, acceptable to and compatible with the world (and all its perversions). “How wonderful – we finally have a Pope who will ordain women, allow married priests, welcome homosexuals, and proclaim all other religions legitimate worship!”

    In other words, in most of the Church, the sensus fidelium has been replaced by the sensus mundum. And this time we have another Julian the Apostate on the Throne of Peter, not just on the Emperor’s throne.

    I am hoping that when the poison pill result of the Amazon Synod is “promulgated,” the response from Heaven will be dramatic and shocking. No doubt it will involve more suffering for us, but I am counting on a repeat of history, namely, of what happened to said Julian when he tried to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

    • RCA Victor,

      I think you are right, especially about the possible dramatic intervention from Heaven, because the Amazon Synod takes place from Sunday, October 6 to Sunday, October 27, 2019 – that is, with the anniversary of the Fatima miracle of the sun (13th October) falling during that time.

      I think everyone is braced for a few shocks during that synod, so here’s hoping that the biggest shock of all is for Pope Francis!

        • Josephine,

          I agree, it is a very sobering thought that God might intervene during that Amazon Synod, which everyone is saying is going to be the worst thing yet in Francis’ pontificate. That would be exactly when God might intervene. Although in one sense it is terrifying, in another sense it would be a relief to see something huge happening to shake up the pope and bishops/priests causing this crisis.

    • RCA Victor,

      How true; I’m often stunned at the total UN-awareness of most Catholics in the dioceses, who can’t see anything wrong and even admire Papa Francis. Incredible.

  3. Probably the best meditation on the Holy Cross is the Stations of the Cross. I loved them in my youth and tried to attend during Lent when they were held every night. The actual Stations, along with the deeply spiritual hymns for Lent, have stayed with me to this day.

    • Nicky,

      Me, also. I think most parishioners used to try to make the Stations at least once in the week during Lent. Changed days. Now they have fifteen, instead of fourteen, to mark the Resurrection, LOL! So we mustn’t venerate the Cross without remembering the Resurrection – that’s always struck me as odd, demeaning that momentous and saving Sacrifice.

      • The emphasis on Resurrection over the Cross is a Protestant mindset hat has permeated the Catholic Church, the so called ‘Paschal mystery’ theology. For Catholics the Cross is something beautiful, whereas for Protestants it is something ugly. This is because Calvin believed in the heretical theory of atonement known as penal substitution. A Protestant looks at a crucifix and sees punishment, whereas a Catholic looks at a crucifix and sees love. The crucifix is the greatest icon we have of the Resurrection.

        • Miles Immaculatae,

          Very well put. I will never forget the shock I felt on seeing those 15 Stations for the first time – in Lourdes, of all places! Unbelievable – except in the sense that it is only the “unbelievable” that IS believable these days, if you get my drift…

  4. The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.

    “Your Cross” — St Francis de Salles

      • Dear Madame Editor,

        On the Byzantine calendar – both Catholic & non-Catholic -the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy, Precious and Life-Giving Cross is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the entire liturgical year. It is so big that it is one of three Feasts which have a Sunday before AND a Sunday after it (the other 2 being the Nativity of Our Lord and Theophany [Pascha/Easter is in a class by itself]).

        Even though it is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the year, it is also a day of strict fast & abstinence. The Gospel is the Passion according to St. John:

        https://lit.royaldoors.net/

        Sunday, Sept. 8th was the Feast of the Nativity of Our Most Holy Queen, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary – and also the Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Of course, we celebrated both:

        https://lit.royaldoors.net/

        Last Sunday was the Sunday After the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

        https://lit.royaldoors.net/

        On the traditional Latin calendar, Sept. 15th is also the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. View — uploads.disquscdn.com View — uploads.disquscdn.com
        Prokimenon, Tone 7: Exalt the Lord our God, and bow in worship at the footstool of His feet for it is holy!

        Verse: The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble.

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