In Cruce Salus
(In the Cross is Salvation)
“Stretch out your hand,”says the Lord.
“And you will live.”
When I was a boy, my grandmother lived on a farm across the road from my parents’ farm. Like all grandmothers, she was the best grandmother in all the world.
Each day, my brothers and I would feed her sheep and her chickens. She gave us cookies and we loved her very much. Then, one day, we found out that she was coming to live with us! This was wonderful news. After she moved in, however, it became clear why she was no longer living in her own house: she was losing her memory.
Within a short time, she no longer remembered our names. Eventually, she began to ask about her parents. Sometimes, she would cry. Occasionally, she would try to run away.
I remember the night that my grandmother died. She could speak, but only in German, the language of her childhood, a language that no one in the family understood.
She was anxious and afraid and all alone. My grandmother was dying, surrounded by strangers.
Then my mother did an amazing thing. She took a small crucifix that was hanging on the wall and held it before my grandmother’s eyes. The Cross was the one thing that my grandmother recognized!
She reached for the Cross and held it close to her heart until she died. She did not it let go.