The triumph of the Cross and our salvation Print
Bishop Morlino's Column
Thursday, Sep. 20, 2012 -- 12:00 AM
This column is the bishop’s communication with the faithful of the Diocese of Madison. Any wider circulation reaches beyond the intention of the bishop.

Dear Friends,

This past week we celebrated the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. There is no shortage of crosses in our lives, and we pray for one another and lift one another up as we encounter those crosses. It is through those crosses, which some of you experience right now, that can come the Resurrection victory. So engage the struggle to embrace your cross and do not forget the triumph which comes by way of our following the Lord.

On the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, I had the opportunity to bless a new Way of the Cross path that has been created on the site of our once and future cathedral. As we look forward to the great day of the dedication of our new cathedral, some generous people have stepped forward and have created a prayer garden, with beautiful plantings and a path of paving stones which mark the sorrowful way of Our Lord’s suffering and death. We had beautiful weather for the blessing on the Feast of the Holy Cross, and a beautiful gathering of people to pray together. The stations, which are beautifully arranged, have been blessed and are there for our prayer, but one day there will be a very beautiful cathedral there.

It is necessary that we have a cathedral and that day will come. Our delay has a lot to do with our economy, but there cannot be a diocese without a cathedral. The Way of the Cross is a beautiful sign that the way we will get to a new cathedral in the same way that we get to every good thing; the way we get to every experience of resurrection, that is, the way of the cross.

The Feast Day of the Holy Cross is so very important to us because the cross is the sign of our salvation, the sign of Christ’s victory. As one of our young priests mentioned in his Mass on the feast day, there are many signs in our world, around which people rally — the Badgers have their big red and white “W,” and the Packers have their “G,” outlined in green and gold. These are easily identifiable ways of indicating the very “culture” that they embody.

As Christians, we have our cross, and that is our sign our victory! We do particularly well to remember that at this time in our country’s history, when religious freedom is under attack and crosses and crucifixes are being forced down in so many places. The cross is our sign of triumph, the triumph of Christ over sin and death! When crosses and crucifixes are removed, the sign of our victory is suppressed, for the sake of political correctness. (St. John the Baptist, patron of the politically incorrect, pray for us!) We are told that we have no right to express our triumph in public, because it mustn’t be true and must simply be our sectarian conviction. This is a time when we have to stand up for our freedom of religion, because to stand up for that IS to stand up for the cross. We have to make all of those connections.

Are we willing to allow the cross to be taken from us as a symbol? Are we going to stand by and allow for the cross to be hidden? A sign of salvation, a sign of victory isn’t very powerful when it’s hidden. But it’s necessary for the cross to be hidden to further state-imposed secularism, and it seems that this state-imposed secularism is precisely the creed being thrust upon us by those who wish to do away with even the mere mention of God. So, we are at war under the banner of the cross — not a war of violence, as we see in the Middle East, but a war fought by our political action and strong participation in the democratic process.

There are many, many wars in the world that are regrettable; and we pray for the victims of those wars. However, this war that we fight, under the banner of the cross, is not regrettable; it is necessary! “O necessary sin of Adam which gained for us so great a Redeemer.” It is a war for our right to proclaim to the world and to our fellow citizens the message of redemption which Christ has urged us to proclaim. So let’s not shrink back, but let’s be strong and brave soldiers under the banner of the Cross of Jesus Christ, especially during this election season.

Thank you for reading this. May God bless you! Praised