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Galatians 6:14a May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The herb basil is often considered a symbol of this feast because it is said that Saint Helen, mother of Constantine, found the cross of Jesus buried beneath a basil plant. As it happens, basil was the first living plant that I ever grew successfully. To have healthy basil, you must “pinch” the plant regularly to keep it from going to seed too soon and becoming bitter. When you pinch basil, you snap off small chunks of the central stems to encourage new growth.
The first time I pinched my basil, it felt wrong, as if I was destroying my small plant. But within a week, the plant had doubled in size. It was the death that allowed the new growth. It was through the act of destruction that resurrection occurred. Maybe the cross is not just a symbol of death and torture but a reminder of the flourishing that can come when pinched by the Holy Spirit.
MOVING FORWARD: Where do you feel the Holy Spirit pinching?
Today the Church remembers Holy Cross Day.