The Cross is the guardian of the whole world.
The stone cross seen in the photo above stands opposite the doors of the church that I usually attend on weekends. Though I sometimes glance in the direction of this cross as I enter or leave the church, I don't think I had ever paused to read its inscription until this past Sunday, when the beauty of the newly-fallen snow caused me to linger a bit longer before going inside and ultimately led me to look more closely at the cross. Fittingly enough, the inscription on this cross comes from one of the liturgical texts for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. The Exaltation of the Cross is celebrated in September, but I believe that the text presented above can also be a source of fruitful reflection during Lent. Lent is a particularly appropriate time to look more closely at the place of the Cross in our own lives. What crosses do we bear, and what crosses do we place upon others? How is the Cross a reality in our own lives? What would it mean for us to proclaim, perhaps against our own inclinations, that the Cross is "the guardian of the whole world" and "the beauty of the Church"? AMDG.