By Evan Olwell 12th grade
St. Louis de Montfort encouraged a group of Catholics 300 years ago who called themselves, “The Friends of the Cross.” These Catholics courageously opposed the laxity and heresy of their time. They were composed of lay people who had a desire to live for something greater than themselves. They accepted their crosses and followed Christ’s company, “climbing up a narrow road, made all the narrower by the world’s immorality.” St. Louis praised this group for its rejection of the world and the world’s deceptions. He encouraged them saying, “you are like crusaders united to fight against the world(…)like brave and valiant warriors on the battlefield(…)be brave and fight courageously.” He spoke of the responsibility that the group had, especially as such a beautiful title, “embraces difficult and inescapable obligations.” The Friends of the Cross followed Jesus, “barefooted, crowned with thorns, covered with blood and laden with a heavy cross.” They were not great in number as compared to those who followed the world and the devil, but they encouraged one another saying, “Have confidence, if God is on our side, within us and before us, who can be against us? It is only the brave and the daring who take heaven by storm.” Every saint has won sanctity by fighting the errors of the day.
We must be the 21st century “Friends of the cross.” More than ever before, the world is immersed in immorality of every type and abomination. It is practically unnecessary to list the horrors which plague society because they are so blatantly touted before the public eye. Things once considered scandalous are now accepted. Things once considered blasphemous are now promoted. The list is too long and too horrible. It is almost impossible that one cannot draw examples of these present day sins from the cities in which they inhabit. However, we cannot allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by this worldwide Revolution. We must remember St. Louis’ words, for as powerful as the world may seem, and as large a group as its followers may be, “He who is within us is stronger than the one who is in the world.” Catholics of today, especially the youth, are entrusted with an even greater responsibility than the past Friends of the Cross. Those that follow Jesus, must say ‘now is the time to suffer, to pray and do penance, to humble and mortify ourselves. Those who belong to Christ have crucified all self-indulgent passions and desires. We must be true images of Christ or be eternally lost.’ All the evil actions being committed around the world today require from us, as faithful members of the Church militant, an equal-if not greater-and opposite reaction. This is possible in the form of public reparation for blasphemies and a rejection of all that which is against the one, good, true and beautiful. “Let us fight with all our strength, let us run with all speed that we may attain our goal and win the crown.” St. Louis tells us,” Those who follow the world urge each other to continue in their evil ways, calling to one another day after day, ‘Let us eat and drink, sing and dance, and enjoy ourselves. God is good; He has not made us in order to damn us. We are not to be scrupulous.'” Let us oppose this mentality. Let us take up our crosses and follow Christ’s company.