Take up your cross

Some thoughts from the last morning of the 2018 Catholic Creatives Summit: A New Garden.

Who we say that we are? We are sons and daughters of the most high God.

We were created to take an active part of his creative process, not only as men and women, but as lovers of truth, goodness and beauty.

A lot of people interpret Sunday’s Gospel differently; some say the cross Jesus talks about is the suffering of this world.

I have one more idea to add to that. If Jesus’ purpose in life was to redeem our fallen humanity through his death on the cross, then maybe, just maybe, what he meant by the “cross” was another word for purpose, another word for why we were put on this earth.

I also believe that God sows His dream, his purpose for us deep in our hearts. And that the more we explore the things that make our heart sing and the deeper we dive into relationship with the Lord, the more that purpose, our true cross comes into focus.

I think we’ve all figured out by now that when we try to grasp and try to do our work with closed fists, worried that others will steal our creative spark, or that if we really surrendered our desires to be co-creators with God that He would take them away and give us some awful job making church bulletins using only the Papyrus font.

But Guys! He’s the one who put those very desires in your heart! And it delights him to see his children’s joy.

Psalm 37 says “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I would add, be cause he put them there in the first place.

So today, I invite you to take a moment of delight and wonder, to relax your fists and open your heart. Lay your heart, your hopes and dreams, your gifts and all your feelings of inadequacy, and the biggest lie of all – that you’re not good enough, that you are just a hack who was in the right place at the right time. Give him everything and take up his cross – his dream, his purpose for you – and use your gifts to bring his joy and his love to this fallen world that we ourselves have helped hurt and break.

May the work of hands, and the deepest desires of our hearts may be that beautiful cross that we exalt with our lives, and that through the goodness – the uncompromising quality of our work, the truth – by being real, authentic humans, who aren’t afraid to let our Jesus freak flags fly, and the beauty – that unique creative spark that each of us has, that we have celebrated through words, Music, dance, art, design and film.

During the three days of the Summit, my fellow creatives have shown me some of those most beautiful crosses I’ve ever seen!

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.”

Photo credit: Nik MacMillan

Couldn’t attend the Catholic Creatives Summit? Check out the Digital Pass.

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