You know, as Catholic Christians we’re often given a bad rap for keeping Christ on the cross. After all, He is truly risen. And yet, there’s a good reason that we do that. It’s a reminder of what He did for us…that it wasn’t a walk in the park but a brutal and torturous death that He endured to pay for our sins. We’re so used to sin that we forget the true horror of it and the crucifix is our reminder that He took the punishment that we deserved and nailed all of our sins to the cross in His saving act.
But I think as Catholics we sometimes can get the wrong message from a crucifix. We are reminded to offer penances and sacrifices for sinners and to offer up our little sufferings in union with the Cross to give them power. All good! But we can sometimes forget that the CROSS IS NOT THE GOAL! Think about that. Yes, Jesus came to reconcile the world to Himself by this saving act, but St. Paul tells us in Hebrews that “for the sake of the JOY that lay before Him, He endured the cross…”
Wow. The goal wasn’t the cross…the cross was the necessary means to the true goal…to JOY!
And what is this joy of Jesus? The joy of a heaven filled with His saints…those that follow Him in love and faith and trust. God made us for Himself. He sent His Son so that we might have Life and have it to the full. He gives us the choice to follow or not. So often we lose our way trying to find happiness in all the wrong places. We avoid the cross. It’s our nature. But I think if we were to see it in its true light…the means to the end, which is joy, we’d learn how to harness the power of the crosses in our lives to attain true and lasting happiness.
In order to do that, we need a better understanding of our faith. Fulton Sheen said it best…there are only a handful of people that hate the Catholic Church…and millions of people who hate what they think is the Catholic Church.
How well did you learn your faith as a kid? Most of us stopped after Confirmation. And let’s face it, before the age of 12 or 13 a lot didn’t seem really relevant to our lives. Certainly we learned that we need to be nice and obey our parents and to be honest and perhaps, (if we were lucky), we learned that we should wait for marriage for sex. But sadly, many, many people didn’t learn very much at all. I know I didn’t. It wasn’t until I was in my mid twenties that I started asking the right questions of someone who actually had studied this Catholic faith and could answer me with real knowledge.
If you’re struggling in life and not finding the answers, consider looking more closely at the Catholic faith. There’s no better program for emotional healing out there. I’d encourage you to talk to one of our Life Coaches who can help you sort out where you’re at and give you some concrete help to get you to where you’d like to go. The crosses in your life have meaning. Tap into the power of your Catholic faith with a trained coach who knows the faith and can lead you into a deeper relationship with Jesus that will move you toward the life of peace and joy your soul is yearning for. Don’t wait…life is happening now. Call today.
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