I was inspired by the good-faith question of a Catholic on the FAIR boards. In spite of growing up with Catholic friends and serving a French mission, I realized I’d never actually read any Catholic sources. Just a little hypocritical, since I hold to Krister Stendahl’s three rules of inter-religious study, one of which is “use their own sources and try to understand on their own terms.”
And so, I have slowly been reading through Catholicism for Dummies. The Catholic Church has a formal mechanism for its adherents to know if something represents Official Catholic Doctrine, the stamp of Imprimatur. Catholicism for Dummies bears that stamp, so it’s actually a good place to start.
Something I read about the cross resonanted with me a good bit. The cross has three symbols. Primarily, of course, it represents Jesus on the cross. However, the vertical post also stands for an individual’s personal vertical relationship with God, while the horizontal post represents the fact that each individual believer also has fellowship and responsibility with the earthly community of believers.
I like that. With that kind of symbolism, I would have no problem wearing a cross around my neck. Perhaps it would remind me that home-teaching (something I have trouble with) is not merely a hoop to jump through.