Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Fr. Rutler on the Cross

Fr. George Rutler:

When Christ is "lifted up", a mundane expression is turned into one of history's most poignant and wonderful prophesies.  He spoke once with the most domestic cadences about lighting a lamp and putting it on a lampstand where it might give light to all the house.  With undomesticated screams, He cries out as the nails are pounded into His wrists and the full weight of His glory is hoisted up on the weight of his own nerves.  The Light of the World has been put on the Cross, and the prophesy is revealed.  The Cross is the lampstand and gives light to the dark-scoured world.

By corollary, this explains the psychology of the tendency of people to take down crosses from their walls when they are guilty.  In fainthearted Catholic institutions this has been done frequently of late, sometimes blatantly in exchange for Caesar's coin, sometimes from loss of faith masking itself as pluralism, often as indifferentism pretending to "emphasize the Resurrection", as though Christ rose without wounds,.  By whatever intentions we operate, consciously or sub-consciously, the Prince of Darkness knows what humans in the obscurity of sin learn tragically:  to darken society, you do not turn off a light switch, you turn off the Cross.

--The Seven Wonders of the World, Ignatius 1993

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