If you have ever met someone who is autistic, you know how frustrating it is for him or her to be stuck-in-self (which is the literal meaning of “autism”) – the person is inside observing life but struggling to actually reach out, make contact and interact with others. There is a distinctly paschal character to this hidden drama: the feeling of being separated, the deep desire to connect, the spending of one’s self to transcend those inner limits, moments of real relationships, a kind of dying and rising that takes the breath away of those who accompany their autistic loved ones along the way. What if the Cross was the icon for this journey? What if the Cross’s definitive and bold ‘no-to-self’ is the antidote for these poor ones who are stuck-in-self? The Cross stands indeed as a sign of hope that it is possible to find the secret door (Jn 10:9), to pass over into open pastures (John 10:9) and to finally have life (Jn 14:6). May we be inspired by our autistic sisters and brothers who truly live the Cross day in and day out, modeling for us, who are all stuck-in-self in one way or another, how to undertake the slow process of transformation that leads to resurrected life. Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Published by Brothers Phil and Ben
Phillip Smith and Benjamin Rossi are members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. They established The Voice of Moreau blog on September 15, 2018. View all posts by Brothers Phil and Ben