March 30, 2019

In the Voice of Moreau:  The Cross is not front page news or a ticker tape parade, but a slow, dark descent into the unknown.  The moment we become special or important in the eyes of the world is precisely the moment that we awaken those power structures in our brains which take us away from the hidden and humble truth of our Lord.  How difficult it is to overcome this ego delusion! How those worldly tentacles, as with ancient Israel’s idolatrous history, pull us back into the drama again and again and again. In the #blessed era, well-meaning religious people preach a self-serving, utilitarian, prosperity Cross.  Do not be deceived! There is one true Cross and it is marked by a self-effacing way of life where we spend ourselves to become little, unimportant and forgotten.  Slowly and systematically, we escape the jungle of ourselves. Learning to tame venomous serpents, put ferocious beasts to sleep and step over sleeping giants, we quietly make our way toward the One whom our heart has loved all along.   Why not make this commitment right here and now? Why not consummate our relationship with the Beloved? Why not take the risk of the Cross? Ave Crux Spes Unica.

Holy Cross Educator’s Response: As Catholic, Holy Cross educators we need to work with our students to put a bit and bridal upon our appetitive natures to reign in what William Golding identified as the Beast in his dystopic novel Lord of the Flies. Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are. In order for the prophet Isaiah to proclaim that[t]he wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and a little child shall lead them,” our need to gobble up anything that nourishes ME must constantly be regulated toward a dying to self. This transformation happens through a penetrating formation of the heart. Which of us can know the mind of our Creator when we reflect upon the power of the Beast within? The on-going battle with the ferocity of serpents and the raging of giants is the burden each of us bears because of our flawed human nature. Yet once these enemies are identified for what they are, a one way ticket to hell, this avariciousness for ME, ME, ME can be caged, restrained, tamed, but never eliminated. It is a daily, perhaps an hourly, discipline to lean upon the crucified Lord and not upon the burden of ME. We are reminded by Job that “The life of man upon the earth is a warfare” (1:7). Encouragingly, Thomas á Kempis counsels us about our relentless temptations to turn away from God’s commandments: “Little by little, in patience and long-suffering you will overcome them, by the help of God rather than by severity and your own rash ways” (Chapter 13). And Blessed Moreau advises that all of us must heed the words of St. Paul to the Ephesians. “Having therefore such enemies to vanquish, take unto yourself the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand to all things perfect” ( 6:11). Teachers let your students know that you, too, work to clothe yourself with the armor of God while fighting the good fight. Always inform your students withall [they] need to know” and with the desire to empower that knowledge with integrity to make all things perfect. Focus on the hope of the Cross. Ave Crux Spes Unica!

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