I was confirmed into the Catholic Church in April, 1992. That means, this year, I will celebrate my 27th year as a Catholic. That is pretty remarkable to me. It seems like I converted only yesterday.
Three weeks ago I went to a local jeweler and had some jewelry repaired. Among the items was my mother's engagement ring and the string of pearls I wore for my wedding. After I dealt with the items for repair, on a whim, I asked to see the crucifix rings. You see, I have been wanting a crucifix ring for as long as I have been a Catholic. Why I never got one is complicated.
This is probably one of my most-prized possessions . . .
My boyfriend at the time gave this to me the Christmas before I became a Catholic (December 1991). This crucifix means more to me than I can express, really. But one of the reasons it is so special is that it moved me from Protestantism to Catholicism in my thinking.
Well, as a Protestant, you focus on the risen Christ. That is why empty crosses are the norm, not crucifixes.
Catholics, however, focus on the crucifixion--the moment Christ died for the sins of the world. That, of course, is an oversimplification. Here is a much better explanation. So by embracing this little crucifix and all it stands for, I, in a rudimentary way, embraced Catholicism.
Now back to three weeks ago. While I was in the jewelry store that day, I ordered myself a crucifix ring. This past Saturday, I picked it up. Here it is . . .
And here are my crucifixes together . . .
A perfect matching set.
So why did I feel the need to buy the ring when I already had the necklace? It's a strange reason that you may or may not understand. When I wear the necklace, I can't see it. The ring is always in front of me to gaze upon, meditate upon, and wonder at. My new ring will also be helpful when I go for my Remicade treatments every eight weeks. I've used other reminders when I've gone, but you can't see necklaces, and bracelets have to be removed if they use your hands for the IV. Now my ring will be there to remind me.
And the boyfriend who gave me my first crucifix? I married him seven years later.