Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Exaltation of the Cross


Today is the Exaltation of the Cross but it is also known as the Triumph of the Cross, Elevation of the Cross or Roodmas. Today is in celebration of finding the "True Cross," the cross that Jesus was crucified on. According to tradition, Saint Helena, near death, decided under divine inspiration to travel to Jerusalem to search for the Holy Sepulchre. This was in attempt to locate the True Cross. Judas, a man from Jerusalem,  aware of the tradition of the hiding of the Cross, led Saint Helena to the Holy Sepulchre. There they found three crosses. From a letter of St. Paulinus to Severus inserted in the Breviary of Paris it appears that St. Helena searched by a miracle to discover which was the True Cross. Saint Helena had a dead man unburied to be carried to the spot. At contact with the third cross, he came back to life. There is another tradition saying that the titulus, or inscription, had remained attached to the Cross.

In honor of the Exaltation of the Cross we enjoyed Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Roasted Vegetables. We decided to eat this as our family dinner because I am still participating in my Vegan for a Week Challenge {Take 2} and because spaghetti is really a great and easy meal that is symbolic of this feast day. Red is a color that truly symbolizes the blood that was shed on the cross for our salvation. You can also serve it in a Cross shaped pan.


Crockpot Spaghetti Squash:
1 Medium-Large Spaghetti Squash
2 Cups Mushrooms
1 Small Onion (Sliced)
1 Medium Green Pepper (Sliced)
1 Jar Marinara
Italian Seasoning to taste

Cut the spaghetti squash in half short ways so it fits in the crockpot easier. Scoop out the seeds from the squash. Pour the entire jar of Marinara into the crockpot. Season the flesh of the spaghetti squash with Italian seasoning. Place the spaghetti squash face down in the crockpot. Add the vegetables on top of the spaghetti squash and place the lid on the crockpot. Cook on High for 1-2 hours or Low for 3-4 hours. 

You can make cakes, cookies or any type of treat that is prepared in the shape of a cross. Checkout Catholic Cuisine for some really neat baking ideas. 

In addition to food there are several fun activities you could do today. Participate in praying the Stations of the Cross or other prayers that center around the Cross. Put together a scavenger hunt that emulates the search of Saint Helena searching for the True Cross or decorate a Cross to use as a Rosary holder. 

The way I envisioned the Cross Scavenger hunt would be to use symbols of the Stations of the Cross and hide them (maybe even pull out the Easter Eggs to hide the symbols). Create a map and little clues to lead the children to the next symbol until they reach the end that would be a Cross.

I wish I could have put together a scavenger hunt for the boys but we were double booked with football practice and a soccer game. In normal circumstances I add our fun activities to our weekend but we will be celebrating my cousin's wedding in Kansas! I hope you all enjoyed this special feast day and I would love to hear all about it! 

Prayer Before A Crucifix:

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul I pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five wounds, pondering over them within me, having in mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones."

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be for the Holy Father's intentions

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