Converted by a Crucifix

Following this post yesterday about my dislike of those “resurrection crucifixes” I received this delightful email from a reader:

Fr. Longenecker: Like you I am a former Protestant minister who was received into the Church and am now a Catholic Priest. The crucifix was literally the precursor that led me to the faith. I was sitting in the library of my Protestant seminary and preparing to write a paper on the 1st chapter of I Cor.

I came upon the second verse of the second chapter, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”, and although I had read it many times before, on this occation it was something just short of someone poking me in the eye with a stick!

The words seemed to my eyes to be in bold type. What on earth was St. Paul talking about? Shouldn’t he have said, “Christ resurrected?” I turned the library upside down, (this was before internet and library computer searches) and found nothing. I went on to write my paper without any reference to it.

But from that day it haunted me like a reoccurring dream. I even recall thinking as I sat in that library, “I bet Catholics know something about this. They have crucifixes.” I wish I could tell you I made a bee line for Catholicism but alas it wasn’t to be. It seems I needed a few more years in the wilderness to appreciate what was waiting for me. And now that I am here in the arms of Mother Church, I love the crucifix. It is amazing, it humbles me and empowers me at the same time. Can’t get enough of it!



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