January 5, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  Jerusalem is the center of the universe in the first century Jewish mind.  It is the city of David and home of the Temple which tens of thousands of Jewish men and women died trying to defend.  When creation is finally brought to its perfection, it is believed that the “new Jerusalem” will emerge as the eternal reality upon which all of life will be ordered and enjoy peace forever.  Yet, our Lord’s crucifixion takes place specifically outside of the walls of Jerusalem.  Could our Lord be telling us that we must not get hung up on worldly signs, such as the literal city of Jerusalem, which merely point to the Kingdom?  Could he be telling us that we must look beyond any concept or image of our salvation, such as the literal city of Jerusalem, which prevents our hearts from truly experiencing the embrace of the living God?  Could he be telling us that the mind and its knowledge, such as the literal city of Jerusalem, bear no proportion to the actual encounter of our loving Father? Let us therefore be honest about the literal things that rival the one true God in our lives.  Perhaps they are goods and legitimately point to our eternal destiny, but we absolutely cannot be satisfied with them alone! Indeed, our hearts, with the Master’s, must constantly be taken to that dark and lonely place, beyond the confines of our thinking, where Life awaits us.  Ave Crux Spes Unica!

Holy Cross Educator’s Response: An essential aspect of schooling children is assisting them to understand and interpret scores of symbols and their meanings.  Symbols like $, @, %, &, # , ç, ©, ¶ and œ all need explanation for appropriate utilization. Just as the jargon of the academic disciplines needs to be understood by students, so too the symbols of economics, chemistry and rhetoric.  For CSC educators there are also the symbols of our salvific journey that need decoding for students. Central is the Cross. Side by side with that Cross are two hearts: one encircled with a crown of thorns, the other impaled with seven swords.  There are the Alpha and Omega, the Fish, the Dove and the Lamb. For Christians who are deliberate about the journey toward resurrection in the Lord, these symbols must resonate in the heart. It is that human heart which then tempers and properly orders the secular symbols of the daily struggles in the valley of tears. Those secular struggles can so easily overwhelm us that we forget to seek the Way in “that dark and lonely place”.  Let us pray with Blessed Moreau: “Heart of my Jesus, speak to our hearts and convert them to you forever. We ask this by the wound given you on Calvary, and by that counterthrust [sic] which at the same time transpierced [sic] the living heart of Mary, your mother, who stood beside you” (Sermon on the Sacred Heart, nd). Ave Crux Spes Unica!

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