The Cross is the way that we come to know and understand things; indeed, it is only by analyzing and assessing some thing (bringing it to its “end,” Jn 19:30) that we become properly disposed to the Truth which the thing points to (cf. Jn 14:6). And if we do not go through this Cross process, we will simply be stuck in a world of sensory data that never arrives at the Truth. This is why in every question of his famous Summa Theologica Thomas Aquinas examines all angles of a given problem and even adopts, if only for a moment, the arguments of his opponents. Once the process has been completed, he can unambiguously present the concluding Truth. Perhaps this is the meaning of the Prodigal Son’s journey, that he cannot feel at peace in his father’s house until he has taken all of the other possibilities to their proper end. When he finally crosses the threshold back into the loving embrace of his father’s arms (and it is no coincidence that this happens through the blood of the slaughtered calf, Lk 15:23), his tearful and happy comportment is juxtaposed with his bitter and angry brother who stands in the Truth but who never went through the process of taking ownership of it. Let us therefore not be afraid to be prodigals and theologians who are led through life by that constant interior process that is the Cross. 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