Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Triumph? A cross, really.....?

 Dali, of course.
Yup.
Today is the feast of the Triumph of the Cross
Which always seems all counter-intuitive.  Like we Catholics and Christians have lost our collective minds.  Really? A cross? That horrible gory ghastly unspeakable death?  Or, that so common it's lost it's punch story of the crucifixion....yeah yeah yeah, I know I know.  Easy to kind of give a mental nod to it and move on, right? 
Well, yeah........except when it's YOUR cross. 
Because that's what this is about: You.  Your cross too. 
By which I mean, mine.
And then it all takes on QUITE a different tone doesn't it?
Because these "crosses".....doggone if they don't HURT!
Like HELL!

Yeah, see, you get the idea. 
Takes me a while and I still forget, but yeah.
That's the idea.  Because you don't get to Christ without the Cross.
Dang.
But you don't. 
And really, you don't even want to. No, really, think about it, you don't...because it is in our suffering that we strip away the dross, the unimportant, and find the realest of real, the true.  It is in that process that we find what is most important about our lives, ourselves....and it is always the same truth: Love.  And that of course, is God.  God is love.  Done.

Why it takes the Cross to get that through our stubborn mulish heads I don't know.  I guess because I am so stubborn.  Such a mule.  Such a slow slow learner. 
So proud. So controlling. 
All of that has to be kicked out of me, again and again before I can set it all down and give over.... 
so that I can let real love wash over me, the way it's supposed to instead of the way I'd like to direct it.... to learn to actually LOVE, in action and deeds instead of only good intentions....to just do it {and yes, I"m still working on it, thanks for asking...sigh}

And it's that. In the doing, where we find the love, even as we might be carrying the cross.  Then too is when we see the triumph, yeah, even the exaltation and joy of that very cross, so despised before.  We see it's beauty.  Because it transformed.....everything.  It transformed suffering. It transformed ugly, and pain, and horror, and fear, and weeping, and exhaustion.  It took it all and flipped it inside out....into our very reason for shouting and clapping for joy, for hugging with grateful tears, for that catch in our chest when we know that it's ok, not even ok, but oh so unspeakably good. 
Because it is love.  It is our suffering, which is our giving to the last drop of ourselves that we go the cross, Christ's cross, and only then do we get to really learn what it means to really love, in the way that is real. 
Triumph. 
Love that word.
Today's the day to remember it.
Triumph.
Siena
"We adore you Oh Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world."

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