Monday, September 14, 2009

Notes on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Today's Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is one of my favorite days in the liturgical year. If I had more time for blogging in the crowded early days of my regency, I would compose a detailed post seeking to explain why I like this feast day so much. Not having the time for such a post, I would at least like to share a few more photos of my favorite church, which happens to enjoy a unique and critically important association with the Exaltation of the Cross. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre occupies what tradition regards as the location of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, together with the spot where St. Helena is said to have found the remains of the True Cross in 326. This feast day originated with the two-day celebration of the consecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335. The first photo in this set shows the Chapel of Calvary, commemorating the place traditionally regarded as Golgotha. The rest of the photos here depict some of the many crosses carved in the walls and doors of the Holy Sepulchre by centuries of Christian pilgrims. I'll let you guess as to whether I left a pilgrim cross of my own.

On a somewhat different (though not unrelated) note, I have been very consoled by the many expressions of support and sympathy that I have received since the death of my grandmother earlier this month. I am thankful to the readers of this blog who have been praying for my grandmother and my family, and I am also grateful for the many notes and cards that I have received from friends, colleagues and brother Jesuits in the last few days. Mourning for my grandmother in the midst of my first semester of regency has not been easy, but I found much grace and consolation in attending her funeral and simply being with my family last week. For me, the grief occasioned by Gramma's death has been mixed with gratitude for the gift of her life and confident hope that she has been graced with the gift of eternal life. Indeed, I can gratefully say that reflecting on her life and death has given me an even greater appreciation for today's feast. We bow in worship before your cross, O Master, and we glorify your Holy Resurrection. AMDG.


At 10/18/2009 9:31 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

Hi, Joe,

I haven't been traveling the blogosphere much lately due to competing demands on my time. So I just heard the news about your grandmother. Please accept my condolences and know that you, she, and your family remain in my prayers. May treasured memories fill you with comfort, hope, and consolation!

I also just realized that you have "moved" from Fordham to Philly, not so far from me. I hope your new ministry is life-giving and grace-filled.

Abundant blessings,


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