The Cross: Ultimate Symbol of Fidelity

Among all the religious symbols in the world, none is more universal than the cross. You see crosses everywhere: on walls, on hillsides, in churches, in houses, in bedrooms, on chains around peoples’ necks, on rings, on earrings, on old people, on young people, on believers, and on people who aren’t sure what they believe.

Not everyone can explain what the cross means or why they choose to wear one, but most everyone has an inchoate sense that it is a symbol—perhaps the ultimate symbol—of depth, love, fidelity, and faith.

–from Ronald Rolheiser, author of the book The Passion and the Cross

Why Do Catholics Genuflect?

Why do Catholics genuflect?

Catholics genuflect because we are often in the presence of the Supreme Revelation, who is not a piece of data but a glorious Person. “Jesus Christ is the redeemer of the human race and is the center of human history and the cosmos,” as Pope John Paul II writes in the beginning of his first encyclical. Socrates asked, What is truth? Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths. Mohammed claimed to bear witness to the truth. But only Jesus of Nazareth dared to say, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6).

—from Al Kresta, Why Do Catholics Genuflect?



 

What Jesus Loved and What Jesus Said

He loved the lilies of the field and the mustard seed that grew into a bush so large that the birds of the air could nest in its branches; he loved fish grilled over an open fire and good simple bread.

He said, “You have to be willing to endure awkwardness, uncertainty, and pain. You have to love God above all else. That’s the way the universe is ordered. That’s the only way your joy will be complete.”

—from the book Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between

God, Born of Woman

God could have chosen to break upon the scene of human history to save us from our very selves in any way he wanted. It could have been in a way that was overtly grand and glorious and terrifying. He could have shaken the foundations of the earth with his coming and darkened the universe only to light it up again. He could have put on a fantastic show.

But he chose instead to create a vessel that could cradle his greatness—he chose to be borne by and born of a woman. The glory that happens in the womb of a woman may just be God’s best show of all. And the idea that our salvation is both borne and born in a world that scarcely knows it has a reason to hope? That God is working out the salvation of the world in secret ways with a woman as his only companion? What deep, rich grace there is in that!

—from the book Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels

Jesus Is One of Us

The inexplicable genius of Christianity is that it is nonsensical and unreasonable and impossible: a gaunt Arab Jew, speaking Aramaic and Hebrew, copper-skinned, short, slight of build, skilled only in carpentry and scholarly analysis of the Torah, often testy and gnomic when he spoke—this unknown obscure unassuming fellow was the incarnation of that which dreamed and spoke everything that is into being? The star child, the chosen one, the distilled Love that set the worlds to whirl in the void, is a stumpy Jewish guy tucking into his broiled fish and honeycomb?

Yes. No wise king nor visionary noble, no epic warrior nor brilliant merchant, no hero at all, no startling muscles, no beautiful visage causing women and men alike to swoon. Just a brown guy beaten by goons, spat upon in the street, hauled in for questioning by the cops, and trundled finally to the killing ground, one among millions forced at knife point to their deaths, shuffling along in chains and despair. A guy. A nobody. One of us. Us.

—from the book Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace



 

God's Love Is Unlimited

 

It could be said that most of the world’s problems, large and small, could be solved if we only knew how much we are truly loved by God. That love covers all manner of sin. Knowing God’s love convinces us that we are enough, that we do not need to compete with others, because God’s love is an unlimited resource for all.

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

God's Love Conquers Our Fears

Through prayer, we experience closeness with God and the true love of his heart. This love sets us straight, conquers our fears, and completes us. And in turn, as we come to know the greatness of God’s love, we begin to look for ways to help others know it too. Our hope to know and receive God’s love in all of its fullness and promise of restoration comes through our prayerful dialogue with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

The Depth of God's Love

The incredible mystery of the Incarnation is that God willed that a human heart should contain his divine love as a way to be near us and draw us into himself. As we contemplate the beautiful devotion of his heart, we plunge into the depths of the unfathomable love that God has for each one of us. The revelation of God’s heart may be seen in the entire life, ministry, and death of Jesus and in the role that the Blessed Mother plays. From the very beginning, their two hearts have been entwined.

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

More Than Just a Theory

The apostles James and John, the sons of Zebedee, wanted to be like Jesus and sought to drink from his chalice of suffering. But when Jesus knelt to wash the feet of Simon Peter, it was too much for the fisherman to accept: “Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me’” (John 13:8).

Jesus is not meant to be a model in theory, he came to live out the active model of God’s love for us. Pope Francis writes: “Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others.”

—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room

Jesus Soothes Our Weary Souls

Jesus is the answer to all our questions, no matter what our age or state of life. He offers solace to those aching for relief. He offers truth to young people who are searching for deeper meaning and security. He restores the dignity and moral center of those who are looking for life and see only death.

To each of these weary souls, Jesus says: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest…learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28–29).

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

Meeting God in the Upper Room