Monthly Archives: September 2011

Not to know, is to know

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”
Isaiah 55:8

This, to me, is a reminder that however grandiose or lowly our thoughts may be, they are not necessarily God’s thoughts and we should always keep them in check, not assuming our thinking rises to the level of God. This is actually a gift of freedom from both pride and worry, for when we understand how little we know and how askew our thoughts can be, we are more ready to let go of them and accept the grace that comes from trusting God more than our own thoughts.

Our Hearts are Restless

This is the famous passage from St. Augustine’s Confessions (Lib 1,1-2,2.5,5: CSEL 33, 1-5) in which Saint Augustine states

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

It is used in the Roman Office of readings for the Ninth Sunday in Ordinary time with the accompanying biblical reading of Job 28:1-28.

The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady who softens evil hearts, Russian icon, 19th century

As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her soul.

The seven sorrows of Mary:
1. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
2. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
3. Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
4. Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
5. Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
6. The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
7. The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)

Lift High the Cross

Today is is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This Feast commemorates not one, not two, but three separate historical events which speak eloquently of the power of the Cross. This day is also called the Exaltation of the Cross, Elevation of the Cross, Holy Cross Day, Holy Rood Day, or Roodmas. During trials and temptations our strength and protection is the Sign of the Cross. At Baptism we are sealed with the Sign of the Cross, signifying the fullness of redemption and that we belong to Christ. Let us look to the cross frequently, and realize that when we make the Sign of the Cross we give our entire self to God — mind, soul, heart, body, will, thoughts.

This Feast celebrates three historical events:
1. Finding the true cross by St. Helena (mother of emperor Constantine)
2. Dedication of churches built by Constantine on the site of the Holy Sepulchre and Mount Calvary
3. Restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem by the emperor Heraclius II

In a deeper sense, the feast also celebrates the Holy Cross as the instrument of our salvation. This instrument of torture, designed to degrade the worst of criminals, became the life-giving tree that reversed Adam’s Original Sin when he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.

Little clip of ‘Lift High the Cross’ for you, one of my favorites hymns you’ll hear me sing loudly at Mass.