February 15, 2007

Cross

At it's most basic symbolic level, the Cross is an intersection. In fact, in Christ crucified we contemplate the intersection and coincidence of all opposites. The divine is joined to the human, our time-bound world coincides with the eternity of God, and the impassible God suffers his Passion. As an instrument of death, the Cross becomes the Tree of Life. And this is the same Tree of Life from the garden of Eden and the same Tree of Life from the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22. Thus the end is joined to the beginning and creation is restored to "original blessing."

Christ crucified proclaims to us, "I am the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end."

4 comments:

jockjock said...

and to think at roman times, the cross was a symbol/sign of disgrace.

Charles of New Haven said...

Yes! And it must be so! The sacrifice of Christ unites disgrace with grace and reconciles our lowly nature with the very inner life of the Trinity!

Glad to hear exams are passing, brother!

Jason said...

I keep finding myself mesmorized by the crucifix most Sunday's at Mass. It seems as if, no matter how long I stared at it and pondered it, it remains inexhaustible and incomprehendile. And the strangest thing is its irony... how, with all the beautiful and pleasing things the world offers, can the cross be so attractive and the greatest source of joy? I'm left dumbfounded and humbled...

Charles of New Haven said...

Amazing reflection, Jason. Francis said to pray whenever they saw a Cross in their travels:

"We adore you, Most Holy Lord Jesus Christ, here, and in all your churches throughout the world, and we bless you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world."

You would also like chapter VI of Bonaventure's "Journey of the Soul," that's more or less where I lifted this reflection from!