Thursday, March 13, 2008

I see crosses everywhere. I know this sounds like the line in “The Sixth Sense”, but it’s crosses – or THE cross – that I see. Sometimes, it’s in the cracks of floor tile. Sometimes, telephone poles or window panes – even markings on the street that indicate a parking space – reveal the symbol on which we base our hope. In his chapter on “The Tools for Good Works” Saint Benedict urges us to think about eternal life. “Day by day remind yourself that you are going to die. (RB 4:47). It might sound a bit grim eviscerated from the rest of the text, but Benedict wanted monastics to focus on the prize – the life that never ends won for us by the cross of Christ. He wants us to live every day as if it were our last – loving fearlessly and freely, attuned to the compassion and mercy of GOD.

In this morning’s gospel, JESUS spoke the truth and the pharisees were NOT happy. His claim that “whoever keeps my word will never taste death (John 8:51),” really rattled their theological cages! They could not listen with their hearts and accept the profound truth being revealed to them. You and I know the rest of the story – how the passion of Christ becomes our gateway to glory. You and I know that the cross – a sign of shame and terror in the ancient world – is now a symbol of the love stronger than death.

It is the hope of every monastic to live the Paschal Mystery in miniature – accepting whatever sufferings come, letting go here and there and embracing the little deaths, so that at the moment of our own, we are ready to surrender all that we are to the Mystery. I’m glad I see crosses everywhere. If you look around in your everyday world, you will probably start seeing them, too. It is a gracious lens through which to view all that happens in a given day – all the joy and pain of simply being human. It is a wonderful way to keep our eyes on the prize of heaven and our hearts focused on loving here and now. Good luck...let the search begin!

Blessings and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki