I had a really tough time deciding which song to use this week: I had no less than 3 different ones rolling through my head. I finally decided on this song by John Michael Talbot. He is a Catholic musician who played in a rock band as a teenager. His band opened for such groups as The Byrds, Pink Floyd, and The Grateful Dead. He credits Janis Joplin with turning his life around. His band was opening for her, and after watching her downing her alcohol, he went out on the stage after the audience left, and saw all of the bottles and drug paraphernalia littering the site. He knew then that he wanted a different life for himself. He didn't immediately turn to Catholicism, he researched, "experimented", and prayed. He is not only a musician: He has dedicated his life to monastic living, giving his earnings from his music back to the community he established, "The Brothers and Sisters of Charity". Some of his songs are used during Mass. This song is often used for Communion; it really touches my heart.
To join in, visit Amy at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders and link up! You'll find some awesome, uplifting songs!
For some reason, a question that a friend asked me a long time ago has been on my mind this week: Why do Catholics have crucifixes and not crosses? At the time, I had no answer except to say that the crucifix reminds us of Jesus' sufferings. She asked me if a cross wouldn't have the same effect as a crucifix. Today I have the answer, with the help of Catholic Answers: The crucifix represents, obviously, the crucifixion which occurred on Good Friday, which was when Jesus redeemed us. The redemption did not occur on Easter Sunday. If I'm not mistaken, the cross supposedly represents Easter, the Risen Lord. One article I read by Karl Keating suggests that the empty cross does not symbolize Easter; Easter would be symbolized by an empty tomb. Which leads to the question: What does the empty cross symbolize? Would it have to be Palm Sunday? For a biblical reference, here's one:
"We for our part preach a crucified Christ; to the Jews indeed a stumbling block and to the Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Cor 1:23–25).
Phil Thompson (who is associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church) said ,12. "But there's still one more reason to show Christ on the cross: It's Christ we worship, not the Cross. Nobody salutes a flagpole when the flag is not flying! But when they see the flag on the pole, they venerate the flag, hand over heart, hat removed, in token of their respect for the country it represents. A cross without Christ on it is an empty flagpole."
One last clip I found was from Mary Beth Kremski, who is a convert and 3rd order Carmelite, who had this to say:"The Catholic Church celebrates Easter for 50 days—not including each Sunday of the year, which are seen as "little" Easters. The Mass never fails to proclaim the resurrection of Christ. And the Church’s daily prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours, is filled with Scripture and prayers rejoicing in the resurrection."
So, I think I was right in telling my friend that the crucifix does remind us of Jesus' sufferings, I just didn't take it far enough. I don't think one is right and one is wrong; we have crucifixes in our house and I have a crucifix necklace, but I also have a cross necklace. I just feel a lot better that I have an answer.