SEPTEMBER 14 – THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
CONSTANTINE was still wavering between Christianity and idolatry when a luminous cross appeared to him in the heavens, bearing the inscription, “In this sign shalt thou conquer.” He became a Christian, and triumphed over his enemies, who were, at the same time, the enemies of the faith. A few years later, his saintly mother having found the cross on which our Saviour suffered, the feast of the “Exaltation” was established in the Church; but it was only at a later period still, namely, after the Emperor Heraclius had achieved three great and wondrous victories over Chosroes, King of Persia, who had possessed him. self of the holy and precious relic, that this festival took a more general extension, and was invested with a higher character of solemnity. The feast of the “Finding” was thereupon instituted, in memory of the discovery made by St. Helena; and that of the “Exaltation” was reserved to celebrate the triumphs of Heraclius. The greatest power of the Catholic world was at that time centered in the Empire of the East, and was verging toward its ruin, when God put forth his hand to save it: the reestablishment of the Cross at Jerusalem was the sure pledge thereof. This great event occurred in 629.
REFLECTION: Herein is found the accomplishment of the Savior’s word: “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to myself.”
WORD OF THE DAY
LUMINOUS RAYS. Phenomena of light that sometimes accompany ecstasy. They appear sometimes in a variety of forms, e.g., as a halo about the head or a glow enveloping the whole body. The norms set down to verify the supernatural character of such luminosity begin by ascertaining whether it could not be explained by natural causes. In particular inquiry should be made whether the phenomena take place in full daylight or at night and, if at night, whether the light is more brilliant than any other light; whether it is a mere spark or prolonged over a considerable length of time; whether it occurs during the course of some religious act, such as prayer, a sermon, at the altar; whether there follow provable effects of grace such as lasting conversions; and above all whether the person from whom the radiance proceeds is known to be virtuous and holy.Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon SJ (Get the real one at Eternal Life — don’t accept an abridged or edited version of this masterpiece!)
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