Why is there a Jesus on a Catholic’s cross?
One might better ask why isn’t there one on a Protestant’s. I don’t want to get into the history of it, the early church didn’t start with a cross as the symbol of Christianity but it just about universally is accepted as such now. They have recently banned the wearing of a cross in Great Britain but they have ostracized and persecuted Christians of various denominations before. It would be well protested somewhere with bombing if they tried to ban Islamic dress anywhere. But it was mentioned at our local Belleville Catholic Men’s Fellowship that all Catholics should wear a cross.
However my main point is about the problem of suffering. When I was a Protestant, we obviously had some sermonizing on offering up our suffering to the Lord. I have an impression rather that there is instruction from some pulpits to give the impression because Christ suffered, we shouldn’t have to do so. I realize Protestants are still being martyred for Christ, right alongside our Catholic brothers and sisters. I’m sure too Protestants have burned Catholics at the stake and vice versa. But today we hear, mostly from Conservatives and Republicans, that we can be comfortable, healthy and not give up our affluent society, because the Lord has blessed us. This even means we should support abortions, euthanasia, and not marriage for life between members of the opposite sex, by some people, who are for some social justice; from the “new left.” And I’m not saying that Protestants don’t teach and preach that we should take up our crosses.
I am saying that the issue of suffering gets put on the back burner a lot. If the image of Christ isn’t seen on a cross in every room, church, business or Cathedral, I tend to forget that I have to suffer for Christ. No I get to suffer with Christ and crucifixes just remind me of that. They remind me that Christ suffered and died for me. I suppose so does a cross without an image of Jesus on it. But somehow when I was a Protestant, that all got forgotten, by myself, at least. We don’t pray to images of Jesus or any of the Saints, they’re statues, paintings, or just images. But every year, Catholics venerate the cross publicly. Many have great devotion to the cross or their crucifix, I know I do for it and mine. God doesn’t want us to suffer but he asks us to do so. So: if you venerated a Cross yesterday, do so on a regular basis, even if you just admire Catholic art of the Crucifixion, and you respect the Cross, I’m sure you’ll agree with me it really puts a positive prospective on the Passion and suffering, but if your perspective is that a crucifix is an idol or shouldn’t be in your church, home, or place of business, perhaps you’ll reconsider.