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Monday, June 12, 2006
On Crosses and Crucifixes
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I own a very nice St. Benedict's Crucifix. It is a rather large one to wear and it has the St. Benedict's medal in the center of the Crucifix behind the head of Jesus.

However, what I don't like is to see people wearing Crosses as opposed to crucifixes. Only a crucifix - the one with Jesus' body on it - truly means something - that Jesus Christ died our deaths for us. An empty cross is our own cross. Yet, it was Jesus Christ that took away our deaths. Only a crucifix is a medal of love and hope - not a cross. That's my own opinion.

St. Josemaría Escriva said, "Whenever you see a poor, wooden cross, alone, uncared-for, worthless...and without a corpus, don't forget that that cross is your cross--the everyday hidden cross, unattractive and unconsoling--the cross that is waiting for the corpus it lacks: and that corpus must be you."

If you don't own one, find some nice and inexpensive ones on Amazon.com.

16 comments:

del_button June 12, 2006 at 12:08 PM
Deanna said...

Speaking as a former protestant...The cross that I've worn was more of a reminder of Jesus being resurrected, alive. In the past I always thought that Catholics focused so much on the crucifixtion that they almost forgot that Jesus was resurrected. I think protestants often focus so much on the resurrection that they almost forget that He was crucified.
Although I do understand why the crucifix is particularly meaningful for you, My cross necklace does mean something very special to me. It is a reminder that I have access, through the Spirit to that incomparably great power that was exerted in His resurrection (Eph 1:19-21)

del_button June 12, 2006 at 1:37 PM
Louis said...

MB,

I feel this depends on the individual. I'd prefer to see people wearing a plain Cross with true reverence to what it stands for rather than not wearing any kind of Christian symbol at all.

I personally wear a Crucifix most of the time but I also have plain a gold Cross that I wear occasionally and I don't feel like I am slighting our Lord one bit when I do so.

del_button June 12, 2006 at 2:27 PM
Moneybags said...

Thanks for the comments. I wrote the post as I was in a hurry to get going, so I unintentionally realize my post sounded much too harsh. I just edited it.

I understand why some people would wear a Cross - to remember the Cross of Calvary. That is why I wear a Crucifix.

However, I'm a little confused on why people would wear an empty Cross to have a reminder of the Resurrection. The Cross was never empty - Jesus remained on it until He gave the last drop of His blood. The only thing that was empty was the tomb, so I'm a little confused on why people wear a plain Cross to remember the Resurrection. Perhaps someone could explain it to me.

del_button June 12, 2006 at 2:49 PM
Jennifer said...

I grew up protestant and all my family wears a cross. I'm the only one who wears a crucifix. And my Mom is the only one with a crucifix in her house (thanks to me).
My uncle was a minister before he retired. I remember him telling me that the cross around my neck is a reminder of Jesus. His life and death and how he overcame it. It is to remind me of how he helps with my crosses. I was just always told that so I never questioned it.

There is a poem called the cross in my pocket which has a similiar reason but the person carries a cross in their pocket.

I now wear a crucifix because I want to remember Jesus died for me. He hung on a cross for me. I want others to know so I wear it so they can see it.

del_button June 12, 2006 at 3:10 PM
Deanna said...

Maybe I didn't communicate very well in my haste either :) I will try to clarify a little bit even though I am on the way out the door again now :)

I never really gave it much thought at first, wearing a cross, beyond it being a christian symbol. It came to mean more to me as a reminder of his resurrection in the sense that it didn't end on the cross - yes, Jesus suffered, bled and died there on the cross but it didn't end with his death. I guess that is the best way I can explain it being a reminder that He lives.
I have nothing against wearing a crucifix I just don't happen to have one so I wear the cross that I've had for some time.
My intention is certainly not to dishonor Christ or his suffering on the cross.
Maybe that helps explain where I'm coming from on that??

del_button June 12, 2006 at 3:27 PM
Louis said...

MB,
Like Deanna and Jennifer I grew up as a Protestant. Protestants don't generally want to wear a Crucifix because It's "too Catholic."

When I came back to Jesus I didn't return to the Church at first. In fact, that didn't occur for quite some time. But I did begin wearing the gold Cross I mentioned and It's special to me because It serves as a reminder. When I wear It now I clearly visualize our Lord hanging upon it.

del_button June 12, 2006 at 3:42 PM
Moneybags said...

I understand now. Thank you, Deanna and Louis for writing me back. I personally just prefer the Crucifix. That's just my personal preference of course. For most of my family, a cross is just "too Protestant" for us.

God Bless you all!

del_button June 13, 2006 at 8:01 AM
T.O. said...

Whatever brings us closer to Jesus is what is important. As long as the cross or crucifix doesn't become a piece of empty jewelry we don to look good, and reminds us what Jesus did for us and that Jesus is still here, within us, watching over us - then it is serving its purpose.

del_button March 17, 2009 at 10:44 PM
Anonymous said...

I'm a young catholic and for me, wearing my crucifix is all about reminding me what I'm here for. I like to feel it against my heart as a reminder for what's really important. To act as Jesus wanted us to and to display our faith through our works.

del_button September 9, 2009 at 4:03 PM
Anonymous said...

hey im a young christian and i would like to wear my crucifix neckalce to school however they say that it has to have a "biblical reference" for it to be allowed. and im really struggling do you guys know any it would be amazingly helpful :)

del_button February 16, 2010 at 8:12 PM
Timothy said...

Matthew--

Amen and amen! Without the broken Body of Christ on the Cross, there is no Atonement for sins. What a terrible thought.
No where in Holy Scripture will you find the Cross as a symbol of the Resurrection or any such thing--we have the empty Tomb for that!
Like St. Paul, we must preach "Christ and Him crucified."

del_button April 25, 2010 at 11:53 AM
Anonymous said...

Only God the almighty could take what was arguably the most feared symbol of power, terror, and might - the Roman Cross - and turn it into the symbol of immeasurable hope and love.

Remember what St. Paul wisely councils;

Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Col 3:13-17 NRSVA)

and,

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
(1Co 10:31 NRSVA)

Personally I wear both and my home displays both throughout.

May the peace that transcends all earthly experience fill you with endless joy, for the Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Your brother in Christ

del_button May 28, 2010 at 4:24 PM
Anonymous said...

I am a Catholic and wear a simple crucifix in gold. I do not, as some folks suggest, forget the central event of human history in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For me the wearing of the crucifix is a constant and powerful reminder of the immense sacrifice Jesus made in accepting torture and crucifixion to atone for the sins of humankind. As such, it a daily, hourly adnonition to emulate Our Lord by abandoning my self-centered ways and turning to the service of the Lord through service to other people.

This "controversy" reminds me that Christians of differing denominations too often focus on specific items of doctrine or practice that
distinguish their faiths (e.g. the Catholic belief in the legitimacy of Priestly Tradition as one source of revealed truth vs. the
Episcopalian doctine that the Bible is the sole source of legitimate belief and assertion). Focus on such differences, important as the may be, can easily be an expression of prejudice
and an attempt to discredit others' faiths,
and I have repeatedly seen it distract us from the fact the basic tenets of our denominations, and the true substance of our acceptance and proclamation of faith in Jesus Christ as our savior, companion, and teacher is the same.

Yours in Christ

Joe

Yours in Christ,

Joe

del_button January 24, 2012 at 7:28 PM
Matthew said...

Joe,

Catholics are the only "Christians" as the Church has always understood and taught. Protestants, because of their teachings of heresy, reject necessary tenets for salvation. They are not Christians but heretics and need prayers lest their souls will be lost

del_button January 10, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Anonymous said...

It seems to me that if Protestants want to visually display the resurrection, they should show the empty tomb, rather than the empty cross. They could have a little miniature tomb with the stone rolled away.

del_button May 18, 2014 at 9:26 AM
Anonymous said...

My cross necklace is for me a reminder of the Sign of the Cross; how we begin and conclude our Catholic prayers. Wearing it (and I seldom have, until recently), is a special and important reminder that we must strive to take every action and speak every word in awareness of the eyes and ears of God. Wearing my cross often sensitizes me to the need for caution, love, and awareness of the sacredness of walking, talking, breathing. For me, the wood on the necklace is like an implement for increasing my trust and faith in walking with Jesus, and if need be acting more fully the part of Him. Being something that everyone understands, it evokes consciousness of our unity. It is terribly tragic that some people misunderstand both the Sign of the Cross and the Crucifix. If even such a misunderstanding is possible, this latter is what is incomprehensible. He died, and even should wearing a Crucifix produce great discomfort in one such person's soul, he would have at least learned a small measure of the Lord's suffering.

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