The sight of the cross… one Good Friday
Retreat Journal, December 1814, O.W. XV n.130
The Emperor Constantine, who had a devotion to the Roman goddess of Victory, changed his focus before an important battle when he had a vision of the cross and the words “In this sign you will conquer.” It became the point of focus for his armies and a much-quoted expression over the centuries as some aspects of Christianity were misused at the service of power.
In a positive way, Eugene’s sight of the cross became a life-long focus: “In this sign you will conquer.” In this sign the struggle against the power of evil would be undertaken. Writing about the missionary vision of the Oblates:
And thus, filled with unbounded confidence in God, they are ready to enter the combat, to fight, even unto death, for the greater glory of his most holy and sublime Name…
Thus, it is supremely important, it is urgently imperative, that we lead the multitude of lost sheep back to the fold, that we teach these degenerate Christians who Jesus Christ is, that we rescue them from Satan’s power and show them the way to eternal life. We must spare no effort to extend the Savior’s empire and to destroy the dominion of hell. We must check the manifold evils of sin and establish the honoured observance of every virtue
Here is the reason why Eugene insisted that the Oblate cross be our only distinctive sign as missionaries.
“Love, not anger, brought Jesus to the cross. Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance. Jesus knew that by his vicarious suffering he could actually absorb all the evil of humanity and so heal it, forgive it, redeem it.” Richard J. Foster,