“The Church is like Noah’s ark that was full of both clean and unclean animals. It must have had an unholy smell, and yet it was carrying eight persons to salvation. The world today is tearing up the photographs of a good society, a good family, a happy, individual personal life. But the Church is keeping the negatives. And when the moment comes when the world wants a reprint, we will have them.” – Venerable Fulton J. Sheen
Some of the most powerful symbols in history have been adopted through the abandonment of the truths for which they formerly stood in exchange for flawed perceptions of the populace conceived through abuses of power and the monopolization of ignorance.
Predating Hitler by about 5,000 years, the swastica (meaning “good fortune” or “well being”) also known as the gammadion cross is a hooked cross which held deep poetic religious and philosophical wisdom long before it ever adorned the vestments of Nazi property or flag. Even to this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism.
You know that creepy eye on the top of the pyramid? Well, back when everyone believed in things higher than man, it symbolized God watching over His people. The All-Seeing Eye provided comfort and confidence in Divine Providence prior to the propagation of paranoia as the Great Seal of America (AKA Big Brother). Jesus is watching you.
Contrary to what small minds may say, the Confederate flag once portrayed the faith of a people torn by both international and civil war. As a native Mississippian and Ole Miss Rebel fan, I’m just going to give this one a big ol’ “Hotty Toddy!” and move along.
And the rainbow? Well, everyone should know what that one means. It served as the sacramental sign of God’s unbreakable Word after the Deluge – when the wickedness, moral perversion and overall evil of man had gone too far and the Big Guy had to open a can. Placing the bow in the sky after the rain had washed away the sin (type of baptism), the Creator promised that He would never again destroy the world with a flood as in the days of Noah. So remember, don’t shake your fist at the sky if we ever start having another great flood like that again. It’s either manmade or insidiously crafted by satanic forces (OK, actually it’s both).
(Side note: Hitler loved rainbows! I personally blame him for the modern deception.)
And then we have the Cross, that most brutal instrument of humiliation and torture through which God ultimately brought the salvation of mankind. Take that, sin and death. Turned upside down, the cross represents humility as portrayed in the martyrdom of St. Peter who refused to be executed in the same manner as Jesus and chose rather to be crucified toes up.
The inverted cross is not a symbol of Satan as the anti-papal propagandists would have you believe (BTW the devil does not wear Prada. He has hooves). I nearly LOL every time I see horror movies depicting it as “the mark of the beast” and silly antitheists using it as mockery, but then I frown because I remember that unchatechised Christians cringe at it though they should rejoice. Humility is a good thing, and our Lord and savior perfected it thus sanctifying even death. #winning
It should be quite telling that in our very own generation the cross has been publicly burned to incite fear just as the hooked version of its image (swastica) had done with the Jews and other enemies of Germany before (Check out the tau and others); yet it’s true meaning has already been restored as the symbol of the new law of Grace. Think about that for a moment! Isn’t it amazing? Burning but not consumed, the Cross still stands. My fellow Catholics should note that we still elevate the Corpus representing the Body of Christ, His Church – not to sybolically subvert the power of Christ – but to lift Him up so that all those who look upon him will be saved (salve; heal).
In other words, The Faith will rise again.