Saturday, September 13, 2008

Holy Cross Day

"Bishop William Wiedrich tells a wonderful story of a conductor who, while directing a large group of percussionists, raised his arms & signaled a huge corps of timpanists to sound their instruments. The din lasted a moment, then he raised his hands again & waved them to silence. Addressing the percussionists, he reminded them of a principle they had obviously overlooked: 'The music,' he said, 'is in the drum, not in the mallet. One does not beat the music into the drum; one coaxes the music out of the drum.' Then, taking a mallet, he struck the drum & gently let the mallet rise off the skin, as if the mallet were pulling sound from the kettle. The resulting sound was musical, full & resonant.

The cross is like the music of the timpani; it is not something one puts on, but rather something that is coaxed out of us. The wearing of the cross is not an accessory to life, but rather the embrace of life itself. Indeed, Christians do not wear the cross as an emblem of exclusitvity or a talisman of spirituality; Christians bear the cross within, in the daily embrace of all that it means to be human. To be a Christian is not to take the cross upon onself, but rather to have the fullness of life coaxed out of oneself. For life was not imposed upon Jesus. Life was not beaten into Jesus; nor is life beaten into us. The life is in him, and he is in us even as the music in in the drum."

Sam Portaro, "Brightest & Best", p. 163-4

Picture - Holy Cross - San Clemente, Rome
(Detail of Apse mosaic, 12th Century)

3 comments:

Karen said...

Very beautiful!

Brad said...

Dear friend, how beautiful and real! You really blessed me with both of these. I have on occasion wasted time and effort worrying because I think I am not hearing God, when really his messages are so simple and he makes himself heard whenever he wants to. Often it's just like with you - through simple moments of blessedness. And then the wonderful analogy of the drum - I love the statement that life was not beat into Jesus. Must say though that, although God sometimes gets music out of me with gentle, masterful strokes, on occasion it takes a pretty good whap. Still, it doesn't hurt! Roberta, you have come very far in your journey. It's great to be on part of it with you!
Love, Brad

Evelyn said...

Reading this post reminds me of the prayer "Lord, make me an INSTRUMENT of your peace".

Thank you for a memorable post, Roberta!