Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Triumph of the Cross

Today is one of my favorite feast days of the Church. The Exaltation of the Cross. I have blogged on this two years ago here. We can never tire of being reminded of the role of the Cross in our salvation as well as its on-going significance in our daily lives.

Today, Mother Church reminds her faithful to look to the Cross! Once again, not just on Good Friday, the Church asks her children to gaze upon the Cross, the instrument of torture and shame and realize just how much the Savior loves them. In the first three centuries of the Church, the cross was a symbol of pain, and martyrdom and was not widely displayed because of the severe persecutions carried out on the believers. After the Edict of Milan by Emperor Constantine, Christians were granted freedom to practice their faith and Christianity came out of the catacombs. (No, Constantine did not make Catholicism the "official religion" incorporating paganism as Jack Chick tracts had taught ) The Cross became a visible reminder for the early Church. (Before this time, the Christians used the Chi-Ro
as their symbol.)

Constantine's mother, St. Helena was a believer and had a basilica built on the site where the tomb of Jesus was thought to be. The Feast of the Triumph of the Cross has been celebrated since the 7th century in honor of the dedication of this basilica and the finding of the True Cross by St Helena.

I am so thankful for the Catholic faith because it continues to point me to the Cross. Not only does the Church re-focus my attention on Christ's death for my salvation, but also shows me that I need to daily take up my own crosses and follow Him. Finally, the Cross continues to remind me that I can unite my sufferings to Christ's as St. Paul reminds us in Colossians 1:24.
Before I was Catholic, I had a one dimensional view of the Cross.

As I sat in Mass this morning, a sense of wonder, joy and appreciation came over me as I thanked God for the new perspective of the Cross that my Catholic faith has given me.


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