catholic cross

But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time. It does not accept that limit. Of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here. It is not explainable or even justifiable. It is itself the justifier. We do not make it. If it did not happen to us, we could not imagine it. It includes the world and time as a pregnant woman includes her child whose wrongs she will suffer and forgive. It is in the world but not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.

– Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

  • Boy: I'm sorry
  • Boy: it's not you it's-
  • Me: these substandard motels on the (la, la, la, la, la) corner of 4th and Fremont Street. Appealing only 'cause they are just that unappealing, any practiced Catholic would cross themselves upon entering. The rooms have a hint of asbestos and maybe just a dash of formaldehyde, and the habit of decomposing right before your very (la, la, la, la) eyes.
For the nearer the soul approaches Him, the blacker is the darkness which it feels and the deeper is the obscurity which comes through its weakness; just as, the nearer a man approaches the sun, the greater are the darkness and the affliction caused him through the great splendour of the sun and through the weakness and impurity of his eyes. In the same way, so immense is the spiritual light of God, and so greatly does it transcend our natural understanding , that the nearer we approach it, the more it blinds and darkens us.
—  St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul

“The poor you have always with you” (Jn 12:8). And yet it is rather easy to look at the derelict poor and consider self-inflicted the scars from alcohol and drugs that mar their faces—easy to harbour disdain for their indecency. But then surely we sometimes miss a lonely man’s eyes looking up in a wish that his face will not provoke this time a glance of revulsion. And perhaps the same look of these eyes was also in the eyes of Jesus as He carried the cross to Calvary.

—Father Donald Haggerty, Contemplative Provocations

Image: detail of Christ Carrying the Cross by Titian.