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Catholic Activity: Triumph of the Cross

Suggestions for parents on how to discuss carrying our own crosses. This discussion is appropriate for the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.


On September 14, the Church has us celebrate the feast of the Finding of the Cross. It is connected with the old tradition that the Empress Helena discovered the True Cross of Christ in the fourth century and built a church on that place. What the Church wants to bring home to us is this: that we must take the word of Our Lord seriously: "Whosoever wants to become my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow Me."

When we celebrate this feast of the Cross in September in our family, this leads to talk about the different crosses in our life, small ones, big ones. When the children were little, we pointed out to them that having a slight headache or a running nose or an aching stomach is not a nuisance to be complained about. It is the form my daily cross takes today. Yesterday it might have been very bad weather when I was ready to go for a hike; or it might have been a most irritable and cranky mother who taxed the patience of the family. Tomorrow it might be. . . . And so we enumerate the different disguises under which the daily cross can show itself in our lives. Invariably we come to talk about the day when the cross would be a very heavy one, when one of our beloved ones — mother, father, sister, or brother — would be taken away from us. In this manner, also, we prepare our minds in advance for these happenings, and again we stress to the children that the day of our death on earth should be regarded as our true birthday, our birthday in heaven, which we should never begrudge to anyone we love. We should think of our dead as of ones who have won the battle and have gone to their eternal reward, out of reach of harm. Even if we could do so, we should not wish them back.

Activity Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955

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