Crucifix on my Oratory

One of these days, I will learn how to take a picture out of a digital camera (or my phone) and post a picture of my Oratory for you.

Suffice to say it is makeshift. I have a cushion for sitting or kneeling (it’s big). I’ve pushed a glass-topped credenza to the wall, leaned four Icons against it, and I have these solid brass angel/candleholders I picked up for cheap some years ago at an antique shop. Tealight candles scattered among a few smaller Icons – it’s very restful and very simple, except for the standing crucifix, which is at center:

Another antique, from the 19th century, France. Given the wear (which is worse in natural light than the picture shows) I still think it is both gorgeous and very moving. Christ is looking out. Perhaps this is the moment where he says to John, “Behold your mother,” and to Mary, “behold your son.”

I came by the crucifix via Sally’s blog, and was convinced I could not afford it. Then some money came my way, and the seller misquoted the price to me by $65 (and honored his misquote) and suddenly, it was mine -as though it were mean to be mine.

It’s difficult not to get attached to things, particularly things we think are beautiful, or that have become meaningful to us. For now, this Crucifix and this Oratory are in my keeping. Someday, I guess, they will not be.

Or, as Job said, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”

The virtue of detachment is proving to be an interesting challenge.

Meanwhile, my Oratory is becoming my second favorite place to pray (the first being before the Blessed Sacrament); a good focal point for praying the Hours and for simple, quiet contemplation.

A head-covering is kept nearby, of course! :-)

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About Elizabeth Scalia