This blog is my poor attempt to enter the theoblogosphere. I have friends who are really smart, in fact they even have an education and are much more well read than I am who most likely have far better insights than I could offer. But regardless, theology is my passion. I’ve been studying theology, as well as Church history, and to some extent philosophy for going on nine (as of writing this) years now. It’s led me into some very interesting directions, and it continues to draw me onward on a journey with a destination which I’m not entirely certain of. But it’s about the adventure anyway, right?
My ambition in life is to eventually get a degree in theology, I’m currently only a first year at a local community college in southern Washington State, which is–as you can guess–hardly impressive. I’ve enjoyed writing for about as long as I’ve enjoyed theology, the two have actually gone hand-in-hand.
So why did I name my blog Via Crucis? Well hey, everyone else was giving their blogs fancy names, so why not me? I suppose you’d like a fancy answer:
The phrase “via crucis” in Latin means “way of the cross”, and originally referred to the traditional route pilgrims would take in Jerusalem to trace the steps of Jesus from Pilate’s courtyard to Golgotha, the site of crucifixion. This street is more commonly called the Via Dolorosa–the Way of Suffering. As time went on many wanted that same devotional experience of the pilgrims without going all the way to Jerusalem, from this evolved the traditional Stations of the Cross which every Catholic and a few High Church Protestants are very familiar with.
I also think that the Way of the Cross is also a defining way of what every Christian is called to, to become a participant in following Jesus and being a cross-bearer, this is exactly what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. To follow Him means nothing short of our own cross-bearing, and our own death. German pastor and Nazi resistor Dietrich Bonhoeffer poignantly tells us that “When Christ calls a man He bids him, ‘Come and die.'” We are also told numerous times in the writings of St. Paul about our high calling to die, and that we have been “crucified with Christ” and that we have “been buried with Him” and so forth. Jesus’ own language is just as straight-forward, “No one can be My disciple unless they pick up their cross and follow Me.” “Whoever clings to his own life will lose it, but whoever forsakes his life shall find it.”
It means we can’t be interested in our own way, or in such worthless things such as success, money, job promotions or other such things. Jesus calls us to a unique way of living found in the shape and form of the cross, to become a sufferer, to become a servant, to lay down one’s own life for the sake of love of others. To become identified with the least, with the lowest, with those who suffer, who mourn, who are sick, who hunger, who are rejected, outcast, unloved, unwanted. To exist for them, to suffer for them, to live with them, among them, and become for them.
The Way of Jesus means a life no longer lived for oneself, but it is an expanding, outward-moving life that finds its grounding in others, not in clinging to ourselves, but in giving ourselves away recklessly in a kind of abandonment that transforms. It’s really nothing short of a revolution, something which Jesus called the Kingdom of God.
Join the revolution, be a cross-bearer.