Thursday, March 27, 2008
The Challenge of the Cross
Father Dwight Longnecker has a great post about the horizontal and the vertical. There are those so-called "Post Vatican II" Catholics (or as Fr. calls them, "Progressive" Catholics) who are forever focusing on the horizontal; it's all about brotherhood and social justice, tolerance and holding hands.
On the other hand, we have the "Traditional" ("Conservative") Catholics who tend to focus on the vertical--us and God--the minutia of worshiping a Being who is so far above ourselves becomes so all-encompassing, that our focus on showing Christ's love to each other can be lost.
Father Longnecker points out that together, the horizontal and the vertical form a cross--the real focus of Christianity. We can and should learn from each other.
This is why we have the Church. We can go off all we want and start or form our own religions and denominations that focus on the vertical or the horizontal to the exclusion of the other until we are nice and comfy in our pews...or lack of pews! But, Christ called us to the Cross, which involves both vertical and horizontal, in the Church, which is, for most of us, not completely in our comfort zone. That is the point. We are to be challenged by the Cross to holiness.