Friday, July 13, 2012
Why One Should Gaze Upon the Crucifix Often...
Enter the Church that preaches "Christ crucified" (1 Cor 1:23). For Catholics, the crucifix (the cross that is not empty, but has the figure of the crucified savior upon it) is everywhere - it's around our necks, hanging in our offices, central in our churches, but most importantly, should be emblazoned upon our hearts.
This is why I recommend gazing upon the crucifix from time to time - it is a reminder of the love of God for us, but even more importantly, it re-centers the soul upon Him whom it should be focused on as much as possible.
The crucifix can cause even the most hardened soul to contemplate things it may not wish to contemplate - but I always find that growth comes out of it. It is indeed good to see our Savior upon the cross, for we see in it our redemption and His limitless love for us. It grounds us, and reminds us of what our central focus should be.
So what should one do then? I'm no expert on these matters - I only absorb whatever I read and try it out in my own life - but I would recommend lighting a candle before one's crucifix, and kneel in prayer before it. Speak to Christ upon the cross in prayer, contemplate His wounds that He suffered for you, and come to the realization of how very much indeed He loves you. It is especially good, I think, to do this before Confession, or before receiving Holy Communion - what joy fills the soul when it receives Him who gave Himself for that soul!
Therefore, I think gazing upon the crucifix from time to time is a most excellent practice - a drinking at the true fountain of wisdom, which is Christ. Spend a few minutes this morning, and look upon the one who gave Himself for you.