Cross-bearing, spirituality, and healing

The cross has been seen as a symbol of suffering. But if we look at it from a spiritual standpoint, it reminds us of triumph.

For years I thought the cross symbolized only the hard material experiences through which we pass in human life. I believed suffering could play a part in turning us to God and thus in spiritualizing our consciousness. As I loved God, revered Jesus, and honestly wished to be more spiritually-minded, I was willing to bear this cross no matter what the cost, but the burden seemed heavy and the prospect grim.

One day while studying the Bible Lesson in the Christian Science Quarterly, I gained a new, and for me startling, insight into the cross. I realized that the cross was not something to dread. It was the symbol of Christ Jesus' ultimate triumph over matter. It was the emblem of the practicality of Christianity, the pathway to the crown of rejoicing.

It became evident to me that the cross represents the practical import of Christianity seen in those experiences that prove the allness of God. It is the triumph of overcoming, not a reminder of the suffering that had to be overcome. The cross symbolizes the sacrifice of materiality required for the triumph of Spirit over the flesh. Combined with watching, working, and praying, this willingness to give up materiality enables us to overcome sin, sickness, and death.

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May 14, 1990

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