In the Voice of Moreau: How interesting it is that Jesus says “take up your cross and follow me” before the explicit revelation of his own cross on Mt. Calvary. How did he know about the cross in advance? Could it be that the cross is not just simply some historical mode of execution that has happened to find a spot in our tradition, but rather a fundamental fact of human existence? The master invites us to take ownership of the cross in our lives instead of letting it be something that victimizes us. We are to reach out, take and consume the cross. We become incorporated into its darkness and heaviness which mysteriously frees us from the burden of ourselves and enables us to actually walk with our Lord on the road of sure faith. This act of trust is the essence of our salvation and can only be experienced once we have permitted the cross to descend into the keyhole of our souls and lock the door that leads to reliance on one’s own self. And while most of us spend most of our days and nights going around in circles, thinking and worrying within the psychological space that is designed for the cross, we are faced with the choice this very day to receive the cross with a courageous mind and an open heart. Let us be women and men who finally listen to these pangs of hunger! Let us take the risk of obedience to this divine directive! Ave Crux Spes Unica!
Holy Cross Educator’s Reply: In a capitalist society such as lived in the United States, becoming self-reliant is seen as more than a good—it is the goal programmed into all children from the time they are encouraged to say, “Mama”. Indeed, if potty-training does not go as planned, from that time forward a person has the potential for becoming both a physical and societal cripple. This person must rely upon others for the most basic needs. All you need do is drive anywhere in any city across the country to see men and women reduced to standing on street corners begging for money, a job, sometimes food. In the 17th century, it is Descartes who bellowed, “I think, therefore, I am”; in the 18th century, Rousseau proclaims that all truth lies within the self; in the 19th century it is Emerson who famously concluded that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Avoid conformity at all costs! Today, so many believe that truth is truly found through whichever technological device one has attached to one’s fingers. The 19th century romantic poet Keats waxes that “truth is beauty and beauty truth” and that is all one needs to know. Is the truly, verifiable, true truth found within or without? And how does a teacher assist students to arrive at the truth? The CSC educator’s reason to be is to assist students to love truth so much that it becomes a lifelong quest. No easy task these days. We must teach children to be wakeful and ever mindful not to forget that they are like deer that pant for living water (Psalm 42). Blessed Moreau concludes that CSC educators must be zealots to make God known, loved and served. The knowledge of, love of and service of the Crux, spes unica. There can be no other lesson plan but the one that clearly teaches that reliance upon anything other than the paradox of the cross is the false quest. Truly, the Cross counter-culturally collides with the secular expectations of becoming self-reliant. Blessed Moreau is legendary for instructing his educators that they must not keep their students ignorant of anything needed for plowing through this valley of tears–the quest toward the Beatific Vision. A true CSC education of the mind and the heart is embedded in the undeniable imitation of Christ. Embrace the cross because it is spes unica.