Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More on ressurifix

Michael posted a comment on the ressurifix post a while back; comments do not show dates, so I don't know when it was posted, but it is an honest question and I will offer a reply here. Michael asks:

Forgive my ignorance, but why does the position of the corpus matter? It seems to me to be a matter of aesthetics and has never affected this convert's devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist even a bit. (If they were inverting the corpus, changing His gender, or placing Him face down, THEN I'd have issues with it. At that point it would have ceased to be aesthetics and become blasphemy.)


You ask why it matters. Please consider for a moment; why have a cross or crucifix or such in a church at all, especially in the context of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

I would hope, that even to ask such a question, suggests the answer; The crucifix is a visibly symbol of the reality of the sacrifice of Christ, which is made present on the altar in the Holy Sacrifice; we are literaly present at the crucifixion; the rules of time and space being "bent" by the power of God.

That the Church has said that a crucifix must be displayed (G.I.R.M. #308) during mass, only obliges us to do what in love we should have no difficulty doing!

Now back to your question. You ask why the corpus matters. My first answer is that the Church has said it does, and explicitly stated that it must be of Christ crucified; who in their right mind would presume to know more than Holy Mother Church, to whom the regulation of such things belongs? To do otherwise is to take authority over things that are not ours; that is the original definition of word "arrogance" - for to "arrogate" is to usurp an authority not granted to one.

Authority is good, but understanding is available as well, and I believe that is what you are seeking, and that is why I am writing this, may God grant you to rest in the knowledge and love of His crucified Son, Who died for us and Who comes to us on the altar!

You expressed concern about declining belief in the Real Presence, and this is a very serious thing. Also a convert, my former Episcopal parish had a bare cross. Jesus does not come on the altar there, there is no "Real Presence" there. Today they have even replaced the bare cross with a banner that has New-Age symbols on it! You and I, as converts, KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE ALTAR! But the unfortunate reality is that there are many, many cradle Catholics who apparently have from no idea to a very poorly formed idea; and for them, all the symbols are an integral part of their ongoing catechesis.

If Holy Communion is only a meal, then throwing open the doors to everyone, excluding no one, actually makes sense; but this is the Holy Sacrifice, and the symbol is intimately tied to the action.

When you look at a crucifix, what is it a symbol of? There is no ambiguity, it is a symbol of the crucifixion and death of Christ on the cross, an historical reality, a reality made present on the altar.

But when you look at a ressurifix, what is it a symbol of? To me it might mean one thing, to you another, and to someone else, something else. But what it is not a symbol of is the crucifixion and death of Christ, which is what Holy Mother Church has decreed is a symbol that must be visible to the faithful during the Holy Sacrifice of the mass.

Michael, I hope this is helpful, and I will be pleased to continue this with you if I have not succeeded in conveying to you the answer to your question. Let us always seek the Lord, who wills to be found.

1 comment:

  1. If you came face to face with Satan, would you brandish a crucifix? or a resurrifix? Which one is Satan least likely to laugh at?

    I ask this in all seriousness. I think the answer tells us everything we need to know.