December 1, 2018

In the Voice of Moreau:  The world runs on opposites:  left/right, black/white, yes/no, in/out, up/down, etc.  A healthy tension between these opposites becomes the energy that makes growth and thrival in life possible.  Yet, because of our fallen nature, all of us are constantly falling into a dualistic “either-or” mindset. Formed by millennia of survival instincts, our default mode, even in the modern world, is competitive.  We seem to approach every experience with “versus” thinking and expect for there to be a winner and a loser in every situation. The revelation of the Cross, however, descends into this contest like a referee whose outstretched arms mediate these opposites.  In current spirituality this is called “mindfulness,” that is, creating space to think intelligently and to make choices that are life-giving. In the Christian tradition, this is simply called “salvation,” which literally means safety. Indeed, the kingdom of God is a place of peace where the lion will lay down with the lamb and spears will be turned into pruning hooks.  Do we mistakenly think that we have to choose God or the world? Do we think that we have to choose between self or others? Body or soul? Intellect or will? Life or death? The Christ, who himself is a glorious marriage between humanity and divinity, blazons forth from the Cross inviting us to rethink our thinking. He instructs us to not be afraid. He exhorts us to have the courage to accept the mystery of life, the mystery of opposites.  Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Reply:  Whenever one makes a choice, one deals in opposites.  I will choose Christ implies that all things not Christocentric I have rejected.  Life-giving choices that secure salvation—that choose the Light over the darkness of sin are never easy.  Beating back the relentless and voracious need to pleasure the self in a myriad of ways is daunting. The battle becomes insurmountable for persons who do not own their flawed human nature.  One must desire to see the truth, name it, embrace it and then construct the defense against falling into sin. This “mindfulness” must be taught by CSC educators, and this takes consistent zeal.  In Christian Education, Blessed Moreau states that “ [t]eachers who have this virtue [zeal] will be happy only when their students progress in the knowledge of virtue.  All day and each day they will work at this great and difficult task of Christian education. When they pray, when they study, when they receive the sacraments, it will be especially for their young people.  This will be done without distinction or regard for any student as special, because such teachers know that all students are equally important to God and that their duty is to work with each with the same devotion, watchfulness, and perseverance.” For such teachers curriculum design and individual daily classroom plans are infused with probing questions about the “salvation” of it all.  This teaching cannot be left to the religion department alone. Each of the other academic disciplines must add fuel to the fire that religion teachers ignite in the heart. Why did Dr. Faustus fall? Is concern for climate change a salvific act? Does an advanced degree in bioengineering build up the Body of Christ? Why are Ponzi schemes detrimental to the ”glorious marriage” between humanity and God Almighty? And so it goes. There is no choice between God and the world for those who travel the Royal Road of the Cross. There is the gloriously salvific intermingling of the heart’s desire with its destination—ultimate safety in the Cross. Ave Crux Spes Unica!

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