In the Voice of Moreau: Like a rule or a law, the cross presents a certain standard of behavior to us. It demands that we measure our lives against its right form. And when that rule or law is received obediently and integrated fully into the soul of a person, it actually comes to life, walking and talking and breathing and shining forth in the life of that person. Christ allowed the law of the cross to be so totally incorporated into his being that when we see Christ we necessarily see the cross – just ask the disciples who encountered the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus! Indeed, the true cross was never to be found by crusaders gallivanting across medieval landscapes but in the mystical body of Christ. This very day he invites us to humbly surrender ourselves, like he has, to that crucified pattern of life. Perhaps we have adopted other modes of life that suit us. Perhaps we want a rule or a law that is less radical and less risky. Perhaps we are secretly holding out hope for a softer solution to our unhappiness in life. Whatever our excuses may be, the fact remains that there is one and only one way forward – it is the cross and it must change us. Let us therefore worship the glorious body of our Lord and by so doing discover the law of suffering, death and new life that redeems the world. Ave Crux Spes Unica!
Holy Cross Educator’s Reply: One of the first Brothers of Holy Cross to become a fine and legendary teacher is Brother Marcellinus (Thomas) Kinsella (1847-1914). When he entered the Congregation in 1869, he had an education “not much beyond grammar school…[yet] he was gifted with an unusual talent”. He left an impression on all of his students over his nearly 50-year career as a teacher. Whether working at the University of Notre Dame teaching bookkeeping in the 1870s and early 1890s; or as principal/teacher at St. Columbkille School in Chicago between 1893-97 where he had Archbishop Edward Hoban as a student; or as the founding principal of the first brothers’ high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana from 1909-1913, all of his students might have forgotten much of the book content, yet “the impression [they] shall never forget”. Upon his death in 1914, he was found to have few possessions. Among them was his rosary, a manual of Holy Cross prayers, a statue of St. Joseph and The Imitation of Christ. Imagine that this brother read daily from The Imitation, and perhaps he fell into the waiting embrace of Jesus after reading this: “Jesus has always many who love His kingdom, but few who bear his cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who care for trial. He finds many to share His table, but few to take part in His fasting. All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for him” (79). Once a beginning teacher asked Brother Marcellinus for advise on teaching. When pressed for a response, he commented, “Don’t look for the pound of flesh; and if you are in a fight, stay in till [sic] you finish.” Impressions last forever and words are feeble. “It is by doing…that we discover ourselves” and the true cross. CSC educators must profoundly assist both students and themselves to participate in the Mystical Body of Christ. We must live the Cross not just talk about it. We must bear the Cross for our students, not seek the pound of flesh. We must fight that good fight until we stand at Heaven’s gate. It is through the Cross and its imitation that “all will be happy with Him.” Ave Crux Spes Unica!