Under the Southern Cross
December 1, 2020

Above me in the twilight sky, the Southern Cross shimmers like 5 tiny candles.  That has been its mission since 1,000 B.C.  Originally called by its Latin name Crux (cross), it provided guidance and direction to 15th century seafarers and explorers who named it for the Cross.  Tonight, enthralled with its beauty and antiquity, I ponder its symbolism: cruciform in shape, it is visible in our southern part of the night sky, and is the constellation by which we take our bearings, orientate ourselves and proclaim our nationhoods.

On a hill far away, another Cross stands stark against the evening sky.  Its beauty is not that of shimmering stars; its attraction is the mangled, broken Body of the One who died willingly to bring God’s love and forgiveness to humankind lost in ignorance and sin.  And we who live in the light of the starry Cross also stand daily beneath the Calvary Cross, hand in hand with Mary of Nazareth, in prayer and solidarity with the suffering and dying around us.

Right now, those suffering women and men are trapped in the pandemic ravaging the entire world.  Not in our lifetime has there been such an insidious and vicious enemy and, despite warnings from concerned medical people in recent years, we are caught unprepared in so many ways.  We respond with the surest weapon we have: prayer.  Tonight, from my safe home under the lights of the Southern Cross, I join the Mary Potter family worldwide in earnest prayer at the foot of Calvary’s Cross.  I know that Christ our Lord and Saviour is praying within me; that Mary his faithful Mother is close by in love and solidarity; that the court of Heaven is singing the praises of our God.  Our prayer is urgent but never desperate because, as Easter People, we pray with Jesus our loving Saviour in the hope and reassurance of the Resurrection!

Mary Scanlon, L.C.M.