I hate to admit that I am a procrastinator.
My horrid habit has cost me many an opportunity to demonstrate my love and affection to those I really and truly do love!
The most recent example, today. Today, the day of my Angel Baby’s 16th Birthday.
Over a month ago I reminded myself to get him a birthday card.
Three weeks ago I reminded myself again to get the card and mail it soon.
Two weeks ago I told myself that this was it, I had to get that card!
Last week I decided to go to Amazon…
Over the weekend I told myself to get him some good books.
Sunday night I told myself, “REALLY?!?” And that’s why on Monday evening I finally made myself sit down and search some good Catholic books for my Handsome 16 year old Prince (and yes, he IS a Prince. He is son of the Most High Lord of Lords, King of Kings, just like you my brothers in Christ).
I found some great books, but I will tell you, that what excited me the most was a St. Benedict’s Cross leather rope bracelet. And a St. Benedict’s bookmark was also on sale! As cool as the items were, I want my son to fully appreciate the symbolism behind the St. Benedict’s Cross, and therefore I got him a short biography on St. Benedict and the Cross.
In case you’re not familiar with the Medal. Here is an image and below is the explanation of the Medal from The Order of St. Benedict’s Website:
Description of the Jubilee Medal
Because the Jubilee Medal of 1880 has all the important features ever associated with the Medal of St. Benedict, the following description of this medal can serve to make clear the nature and intent of any medal of St. Benedict, no matter what shape or design it may legitimately hav
The Cross of Eternal Salvation
On the face of the medal is the image of Saint Benedict. In his right hand he holds the cross, the Christian’s symbol of salvation. The cross reminds us of the zealous work of evangelizing and civilizing England and Europe carried out mainly by the Benedictine monks and nuns, especially for the sixth to the ninth/tenth centuries.
Rule and Raven
In St. Benedict’s left hand is his Rule for Monasteries that could well be summed up in the words of the Prolog exhorting us to “walk in God’s ways, with the Gospel as our guide.”
On a pedestal to the right of St. Benedict is the poisoned cup, shattered when he made the sign of the cross over it. On a pedestal to the left is a raven about to carry away a loaf of poisoned bread that a jealous enemy had sent to St. Benedict.
C. S. P. B.
Above the cup and the raven are the Latin words: Crux s. patris Benedicti (The Cross of our holy father Benedict). On the margin of the medal, encircling the figure of Benedict, are the Latin words: Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur! (May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death!). Benedictines have always regarded St. Benedict as a special patron of a happy death. He himself died in the chapel at Montecassino while standing with his arms raised up to heaven, supported by the brothers of the monastery, shortly after St. Benedict had received Holy Communion.
Below Benedict we read: ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy Monte Cassino, 1880). This is the medal struck to commemorate the 1400th anniversary of the birth of Saint Benedict.
Reverse Side of the Medal
Crux mihi lux
On the back of the medal, the cross is dominant. On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!).
In the angles of the cross, the letters C S P B stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The cross of our holy father Benedict).
Above the cross is the word pax (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V – S M Q L I V B are the initial letters, as mentioned above, of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan: Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas! (Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!)
Use of the Medal
There is no special way prescribed for carrying or wearing the Medal of St. Benedict. It can be worn on a chain around the neck, attached to one’s rosary, kept in one’s pocket or purse, or placed in one’s car or home. The medal is often put into the foundations of houses and building, on the walls of barns and sheds, or in one’s place of business.
The purpose of using the medal in any of the above ways is to call down God’s blessing and protection upon us, wherever we are, and upon our homes and possessions, especially through the intercession of St. Benedict. By the conscious and devout use of the medal, it becomes, as it were, a constant silent prayer and reminder to us of our dignity as followers of Christ.
The medal is a prayer of exorcism against Satan, a prayer for strength in time of temptation, a prayer for peace among ourselves and among the nations of the world, a prayer that the Cross of Christ be our light and guide, a prayer of firm rejection of all that is evil, a prayer of petition that we may with Christian courage “walk in God’s ways, with the Gospel as our guide,” as St. Benedict urges us.
A profitable spiritual experience can be ours if we but take the time to study the array of inscriptions and representations found on the two sides of the medal. The lessons found there can be pondered over and over to bring true peace of mind and heart into our lives as we struggle to overcome the weaknesses of our human nature and realize that our human condition is not perfect, but that with the help of God and the intercession of the saints our condition can become better.
The Medal of St. Benedict can serve as a constant reminder of the need for us to take up our cross daily and “follow the true King, Christ our Lord,” and thus learn “to share in his heavenly kingdom,” as St. Benedict urges us in the Prolog of his Rule.
Now why do I share so much of this with you? If you read my previous post, you know that I wish to start focusing on our Youth. With this change, I wanted a new way of reminding myself of that when I wrote, and I thought of nothing better than a quick prayer. A Brief Short Prayer.
And I decided on Crux Sancta Sit Mihi Lux †
A phrase associated with San Benito Abad. Well, as we all know all to well, our Lord has a great sense of humour!
Know that I am fluent in Spanish for this next little explanation…I always knew that Benedicto is Benedict. For some reason I never associated Benito with Benedict, much less San Benito de Abad with St. Benedict! I discovered today that they are one in the same! Moreover, that this is the same Prayer!
I was dying!!! Very funny, God. You got me… 😉
Here I am thinking of me, the blog and youth, and earlier I was thinking of the protection of St. Benedict over my son, who by the way is also a Patron Saint for Students, Feast Day July 11, wanting St. Benedict to protect him, as we have always been taught to carry his medal and/or cross on us for protection…and it all tied in together PERFECTLY!
Thank you, Lord. I believe this is a God-wink and a God-incidence…
So on we go…
Crux Sancta Sit Mihi Lux †
Oh, and Happy Feast Day of St. Scholastica…Twin Sister of St. Benedict!
They just keep coming 😉