The Shadow of the Cross

For a lapsed Catholic, I spend a lot of time thinking about religion. Even more so as I have been asked to stand as a Godparent for my grandson. Now that is awkward, as my belief in God is constrained.

I believe God is the manifestation of our need for God and has been substantiated by many accounts and in many forms. However, I have no faith in the reliability of man’s accounts of God.

Quite rightly for Christians, Good Friday is a sombre day for repentance and spiritual contemplation. In Catholic churches, icons are covered, the altar is bare and bells are replaced by wooden clappers. It is probably the most meaningful of Christian holy days as it has not been commercialised, other than supermarkets touting fish as good for Lent!

The ritual of Stations of the Cross is observed on Good Friday, visualising the indignities and agonies Jesus suffered before and during his crucifixion. It engenders powerful feelings which are probably confirmatory of beliefs.

Rituals reinforce beliefs and involvement demonstrates piety. The Way of the Cross engenders religious ecstasies in some cultures, where devotees flay themselves and carry heavy crosses wearing thorny crowns.

The last days of Jesus provided most of the symbols, rituals and beliefs that base the Christian faith, enshrining sacrifice and matyrdom and ensuring that Jesus is remembered whenever Christians eat and drink.

Notwithstanding the earthquake and the tearing of the veil in the Temple when he died and the mysterious disappearance of his body, Jesus’ divinity was rejected by most of the Jews.

Nevertheless, the testimony of his disciples and Jesus’ return founded a religion which has the greatest following in the world.

I remain unconvinced but cannot deny that I am aware of the shadow of the cross.

Author: manqindi

Post imperial wind drift. Swazi, British, Zimbabwe-Rhodesian, Irish, New Zealand citizen and resident, now in Queensland, Australia. 10th generation African of mainly European descent. Catholic upbringing, more free thinker now. BA and Law background. Altar boy, wages clerk, uncle, prefect, student, court clerk, prosecutor, magistrate, convoy escort, pensioner, HR Practitioner, husband, stepfather, father, bull terrier lover, telephone interviewer, Call Centre manager, HR manager, grandfather, author (amateur)

3 thoughts on “The Shadow of the Cross”

  1. “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” C.S. Lewis

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