MONDAY MEDITATION: St. Keven’s Cross (December 18)

Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. — Romans 12:2

My wife and I got back from Ireland a few weeks ago, which means you’ll see Ireland popping up occasionally in these meditations. It was simply a beautiful place in so many respects, and the centuries-old stories add to the mystique.

Look closely at the stone you see in today’s picture. You’ll find a faint outline of a cross on it. It sat at the entrance to a 6th century monastery in Glendalough; Keven, one of the country’s patron saints, was the abbott.

What’s interesting is that this cross served two related purposes. First, it marked the boundary where the sacred ground began. That ground served as a sanctuary from the violence and vices of the outside world; there would be no harm of any kind done inside the monastery grounds. Second, it was a reminder that as you entered there, you were to live as if you were in God’s presence. All the values and ideals of the Christian faith were to be reflected in your thoughts, actions, and speech.

This reflects a need we all have. What can be a physical reminder, something we see every day, that we are to live as if we are on sacred ground? In a time when we’re constantly bombarded with stories and pictures of the world’s darkness, don’t we need to remember that we are in the world but not of it? That we are to be witnesses of the good, of the light that can’t be darkened?

What will be your St. Keven’s cross?

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