Friday, April 6, 2012

Saving What’s Important

As Agnes Tully demonstrated a lifelong reverence for her faith, it is no surprise to find, among those letters she saved, a collection of religious cards and writings. Since this weekend’s holy days were held in high esteem by the Tully family, it is appropriate to break into the stream of letters addressed to Agnes that we have been reviewing, to share a few that recognized the importance of her beliefs.

A quaint card—though certainly not orthodox—presents a legend that Agnes kept among her papers, representing that springing-to-Life hope that follows the agony of Good Friday. The card was printed by the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity in Silver Spring, Maryland. The reverse side of the card featured a painting by Jack Woodson, an American illustrator known for his plein air work and maritime scenes.

There is a legend that at the time of the crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross. To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and our Lord, nailed upon it, sensed this, and in his gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering said to it: “Because of your regret and pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross, two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember.”

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