Friday, July 30, 2010


The cross was not an instant hit as a Christian symbol. It took Christians time to overcome the “scandal of the Cross.” Further, as you might recall from history, it was not a good thing to too publically declare your faith in Jesus and His Church; it might make you into a happy meal for a hungry lion. Other symbols were thus used. One was the anchor – a symbol of hope.

In a world where persecution of Catholics was common, what would be the hope of believers? That the one condemned to arrest, or torture, or death would remain steadfast in the faith. An anchor keeps a ship steady in the ocean so that it does not drift into rocks or sand bars or becomes lost out at sea. The Christian anchor is a symbol of keeping us rooted in faith despite the storms of life that would place our soul at risk.

One of the legends about how this symbol came about comes from the story of Saint Clement. Emperor Trajan banished this pope who subsequently converted the people in the place to which he was sent. Enraged, the emperor had him tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. The legend says that the sea receded three miles to reveal Saint Clement being buried by hosts of angels. Whether that last bit be actual or an embellishment that speaks of the life of this first century holy man, one can see how the anchor would symbolize well the hope that those who remain true to Christ and His Church will find reward after suffering in this world.

Later the Cross was more transparently added to the anchor. We thus remain steadfast (fortitude!) in the mystery of His Cross and Resurrection, grow in hope, and await the splendor that awaits loyal sons and daughters of the Father in the lift to come.


Anonymous said...

i feel like the anchor---a symbol of hope--was thrown to us just a few weeks back---alas, i fear i was wrong--i am speaking of the new home offered to the tridentine or Mass in the Extra form that is now being prayed every Sun. at 1 p.m.---my dissapointment comes from the rumored possibility that the pastor nor his parochial vicar will be someday in the "near future" praying this mass--i hope this rumor has no foundation in truth--if it does, i fear the anchor beginning to lose its roots--the persons attending this praying of the mass are in need of a shepherd just like all members of St. Sebastian parish----naturally the extraordinary prieste who tirelesly travel many miles to pray this mass cannot be appreciated enough---human actions and words cannot thank them enough----i however,HOPE they set the example for all--sincerely, a new member of your flock--who is waiting in hope, to be embraced by there new shepherds

Margaret Comstock said...

I am not quite sure whether the Anonymous poster wants Fr. V to say the Extraordinary form Mass or does not want that. But in any case he is the pastor and can shepherd those who attend the Mass in whatever form they choose to worship. Learning the High Mass form would take a great deal of time from his busy schedule. And the priest who does offer the Mass is there for confessions before Mass most of the time- which is a help.