Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Glory and the Folly of the Cross

"The Glory of God is man fully alive!"
 ~ St. Irenaeus

Of course I must inaugurate my blog, formally, with the quote of the Saint who named it! 

"The Glory of God is Man fully alive!"  

This is so true, and it is true in that the one man who fulfilled humanity completely, by taking human nature upon His own Divine nature, in so doing, made us all whole. He who paid the ransom for our sin and was never more fully alive than when He suffered His Passion and Death, lifted upon the Cross as an example to all, but in the end, was not the "example" intended. 

As Jesus suffered, died, and descended into Hell, He was never more fully alive; this truly reveals the glory of God and Man together. He preached His first homily upon the Cross, revealing that the Last Supper was only the beginning and in order for the covenant to be fulfilled, in order for us to partake in the flesh of the Lamb, He had to take the place of the Lamb and reveal Himself definitively as the Son of God. 

Such folly, and the Cross remains a folly to the world in which we live. We Christians in America have not ever been so persecuted as we are now, in recent memory. (Look to the roots of our nation, however, and know that we Catholics have NEVER been truly welcomed here, even as we fled persecution and war elsewhere).   

For most of us, though in our current age, as we did not ourselves cross the Ocean, we find ourselves legal and born citizens of a land that does not want us, and NEVER wanted us. 

Now, even though none of us have ever suffered what our Catholic ancestors did, even the social and political torture at the hands of other professed Protestant Christians, has come home to roost and once again, we are the butt of American Society, and to their utter surprise, the Protestant Christians who once worked so hard to oust we Catholics now find their own filial Confessions uniting with us as they find themselves relegated to the positions in which they first tried to silence us. 

It really is fascinating, when you think about it. 

I, for one, as a Catholic, welcome our separated brethren to the battle, and find you not to be traitors, but true brothers and sisters in Christ whose own ancestors lost their way, beginning with Martin Luther. 

[Aside: You'll find that I'm not very politically correct and have no interest in being so. Nor do I expect such nonsense from any serious followers. Be direct about what you believe and end the wishy-washiness regarding what our respective religions actually believe about each other, please. Thank you].  

Together, we find that our own land does not want us, will not hear us, and seeks actively to squash our Christian beliefs and rights. It will soon not be so different than 1st Century Rome and of course, the Middle East and other parts of Asia and Indonesia, to this day, where Christianity is illegal and punishable by death.

 On This Day

On this day we Christians have a choice to make, and we DO have a choice, even though our current government seeks to limit it. We have a choice to believe in God and follow HIM, even though we are now required by LAW to act in a way contrary to our religious beliefs. 

We can CHOOSE to go along with that directive, or we can choose proper civil disobedience, for the law is unjust, and we should and MUST resist unjust laws! We cannot be complacent, we cannot be silent, and we cannot fear the reactions of others!

YES! We ARE going to lose "friends", especially those from various social networks and secular networks. We ARE going to find that our positions faithful to God are challenged and rejected, and we will be placed in a position to either be silent or lose the esteem of others whether real friends or just the shadows that make up many internet relationships.

YES! We WILL have to present difficult Truths about humanity and eternity and stand behind them, even as we are stoned by words, by rejection, by irresponsible adolescent-invented "glitter bombs" and by media vilification.


Do not be afraid! These are the words of John Paul II to the world at the announcement of the advent of the Springtime of Evangelization. 

Yes, we will suffer and that is proper, for every seed that blooms must be burst into bits in order to give life. God is consistent in His design and even there, in the tiniest seed, is the folly of the Cross, for from the very beginning suffering and deprivation in order to replicate  has been written into the tiniest atom. 

We MUST suffer in order to live eternal life.This is folly to the world, the world which seeks to escape suffering, trying to find refuge in hedonism and a mis-definition of "happiness". A world that does not have God is a world of poverty which actively inflicts its own poverty upon those of Faith, for misery does truly seek company. 

But....BUT! We have a secret! Misery may enjoy company but it cannot overcome the Good, which is diffusive of itself!

Have you ever had a bad day and experienced the kindness of a stranger? Have you ever had a great day yourself and in true joy, smiled at others even if they themselves were perhaps experiencing some random frustration? Have you ever noticed how joy is so CONTAGIOUS? 

Joy is far more communicative than misery. Misery must work to gain disciples; Joy needs no effort at all, but simply IS and passes powerfully. 

The most powerful Joy tends to come from those who suffer the Cross most deeply. Consider all the Facebook Memes about those who are suffering and the inspirational successes they reveal even as they are dying. 

This is the folly of the Cross. This is the inspiration of Christ, the reality of suffering, and the significance of human life seeking eternity. 

This is the reason for the title of my blog. 

Please, join this adventure, and always remember that in the greatest suffering and the greatest joy, God is the author and guides us into a deeper relationship with Him...which always creates a deeper relationship with those around us who are also in need of eternal life. 

This is the folly and the glory of the Cross, and the folly and the glory of our own lives in all its brilliant even if tarnished facets. 

There is no such thing as Glory without Folly. Especially in reference to the Cross of Christ. 


Laura The Crazy Mama said...

I was smiling through the whole thing. Loved it!

Julie Olson said...

Thank you, Laura! You are indeed a Crazy Mama, even to me!