Monday, November 29, 2010

How Do You Wear Your Cross?

It's difficult to reflect upon the title question above with any humor or light-heartedness, although leave it to me to try.

No, seriously, I'm asking you:


Comments (anonymous or otherwise) are greatly welcomed OR if you are one of my teens, college students, or young adults, further individual discussion is strongly encouraged. 

This blog post is not meant to be judgemental on my behalf and I'll put my money where my mouth is (so to speak) and prove it.

Recently during one of my confessions (don't worry ya'll I'm definitely not going to share any juicy details), while discussing what I would consider "normal" struggles in my daily life, the priest asked, "do you wear a cross around your neck?"  Ashamed and embarrassed, I responded with "no."  With no judgement (thank God), he asked why not and allowed me to give it my best attempt to justify my reasoning.  So I gave it my best attempt to justify my rationale.

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"I'm ashamed to see, feel, or think about a cross around my neck with the way I think, talk, and act."

"I don't want to bring negative attention to my Faith, Church, and Christ through my words or actions."

"I might want to avoid questions from strangers about my faith."

Interrupting me (I guess worried that I could continue with other "justifications"), he said, "well, that's the point!"

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The priest went on to explain that the cross is my lifeline when temptations arise.  I'm not supposed to feel comfortable while wearing a cross around my neck; I'm supposed to be constantly aware that I have a cross on me.  The cross allows me to have that extra reminder before I think bad thoughts, say mean things, and act selfishly or unkindly towards others.  The material around my neck in the shape of a cross, whether it be gold, silver, or fabric won't in itself stop me in my tracks beforehand.  However, the knowledge of what the cross stands for, and more importantly Christ's humiliating death upon the Cross and His glorious Resurrection offers me the ONLY opportunity for Salvation (attainment of the Kingdom of Heaven).  We now refer to that death upon the cross as the "Life-giving Cross!"

St. Luke Orthodox Church, Palos Hills, IL

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"Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master; and Thy Holy Resurrection, we glorify!"

Although, my daily struggles of trying to live a life worthy of Christ continue, I take great comfort and refuge in that cross around my neck. 

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director


Jennifer said...

Thank you for this reminder of what it means to wear a cross. I've worn one for many years, but I had never heard an explanation like this nor realized how helpful my cross could be when I'm tempted. The cross is such a precious gift to us; It always reminds me of God's loving forgiveness towards mankind.

Youth Director said...

It is truly a great reminder; I was blessed to receive such instructions.

Have a blessed Advent season, Jennifer!

Anonymous said...

I never thought of it like that...