Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Sign of Contradiction

After Mass today we were discussing Roman Emperors including, of course Constantine, whose conversion to the Holy Faith was to prove so crucial in the spread and security of Christianity across the Roman Empire. In a dream Constantine is shown the Cross and hears the words, "By this sign, thou shalt conquer."

Today, thousands of years later, we are used to the Crucifix. As Catholics the Cross, the Crucifix is an emblem of our Faith. It reminds us of the love that God has for us. It reminds us that God is Love and loved us to the end, that God died for us and by the shedding of His Blood, has purchased our souls. It reminds us of the price of our redemption but also of a God who would sooner undergo death Himself, than allow death to reign over Mankind as a result of the Fall.

I can think of few other professions which entail more self-sacrifice, more love, more compassion and tenderness than nursing. The Crucifix is a fitting sign for a nurse to wear because the job demands Christ-like love, Christ-like self-sacrifice and Christ-like compassion. But in secular Britain today, it is a Sign of Contradiction against the spirit of the age and a cause of scandal and offense in an age in which it seems the love of God is absent or being pushed away.

The Telegraph reports
that one nurse, Shirley Chaplin has been taken off the wards at The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital after refusing to remove her necklace. She says, "Everyone I have ever worked with has clearly known I am a Christian: it is what motivates me to care for others,” she said. "For about 30 years I have worked in the NHS and nursed patients day and night and on no occasion has my cross caused me or anyone else, any injury – and to my knowledge, no patient has ever complained about me wearing it. I feel that I’m being bullied and victimised because of my faith.”

And so today, it is not, it would appear, a case of, "By this Sign thou shalt conquer." It is a case of, "By this Sign thou shalt be disciplined by your employers or sacked. By this Sign thou shalt be ridiculed. By this Sign thou shalt be hounded out of public and civic life. By this Sign, thou shalt become as an outcast. By this Sign, you will be crucified."

Perhaps that, too, in a way, evil and grossly unjust as it is, is fitting.

1 comment:

Physiocrat said...

Britain is rushing to hell

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