Symbolism in the Church #40

The round window with the simple triumphant lamb is a little different than the others. This one is standing and holding a flag with the cross. The lamb is looking at the flag with the cross and has a halo with a similar cross with it. The halo does not come without a cross. Unfortunately for us, this is also true. When we are able to carry crosses, we are able to grow in holiness. It is how we learn to love as He has loved us. When we love in the same way Jesus has loved us, grace enters in and transforms our suffering into opportunity. Opportunity for us to be all the closer to Jesus. We grow in intimacy with Jesus when we learn to “offer it up.” Jesus then shares with us His joy and peace. So even in the suffering, we can still be at peace.

Isn’t it a strange thing that the more we get what we want, the more we complain? If we are used to getting what we want, we start to complain if we do not get what we want. Getting what we want becomes an expectation. We start to hold on to what we want and suffer all the more for it. But the way to triumph is to carry the cross as Jesus, the innocent lamb, did. He is showing us the way to triumph over our passions so that we may not be enslaved to them. The cross keeps us humble and more willing to serve others. We are reminded that not everything is about us. It is the starting point by which we truly learn to love others and to practice true virtue. Here on earth, we think of the cross as a shame, but in heaven, it is our triumph and glory.
The last round window I will describe is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We can see again the sword that pierces the heart, with the roses that go across the front at an angle and the lilies that sprout on top. This heart is filled with life. Jesus sprouted out of Mary like the lilies sprout out of the top of this heart. There is a kind of fruitfulness in Mary’s heart. It is a fruitfulness that comes from God, it is not of her own doing. God made this celibate woman fruitful and full of life. To this day she bears much fruit in our souls by leading us all to the heart of Jesus.
Many times, there are people who are fruitful beyond our knowledge. So many people touch lives that they do not even know. A simple smile or look can communicate the love of Jesus. It could be the person at the cash register or the person that just cut you off. The patience we show to others can go a long way in sins avoided. I think of the patience Mary shows us when we offend her son Jesus. She did not lash out at the foot of the cross, “See what you did to my son! I hate you for this!” No, instead, she silently stood there and received her son’s words, “Behold, thy son.” We who offended Him were being accepted by Mary, his own mother. And she accepted with such tenderness in her own sorrow. No, she did not lash out, she loved. Only such an immaculate heart can do this. Through the power of God all things are possible. Praise God!