3 Reasons Why I Wear a Crucifix


I'm not big on jewelry, but one thing you might notice about me is that I always wear a crucifix around my neck. It is not a cross, but a crucifix. There is a reason for that. In fact, I want to share three reasons why I wear a crucifix.

3-reasons-why-wear-crucifix

Reason #1 — Remembrance

To Remember What True Love Looks Like

The crucifix is different than the cross. The cross is the instrument of torture through which Jesus was murdered, a particular favorite of the Roman Empire. The cross is the altar on which the Son of Man offered Himself as an eternal sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. The cross is the new tree of life. The cross is significant, but only because of the time Jesus spent hanging from it.

For some people the cross is scandalous. It is something they hold to be in the past. As a Catholic I believe that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is eternal, and made ever-present at every Mass held everyday in every country around the world.

“But we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block for Jews and foolishness for Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

~ 1 Corinthians 1:23-24

Don’t get me wrong. I know Jesus is not on the cross. He is not dead. He is risen. In fact:

“A Catholic is one who believes that this Jesus remains alive, active, and accessible in and through His Church.”

~ Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Jesus on the cross is what matters. It is the ultimate act of God’s love for us. To gaze upon the crucifix for me is to look upon love in its most perfect expression. In the busyness of my daily life I need to be reminded of that, and reminded often. The crucifix around my neck serves as a reminder of God’s love for the world, but particularly God’s love for me.

Reason #2 — Inspiration

To Inspire Me to Take Up My Cross Daily

The crucifix might be thought of as a gruesome sight. However, for me it is inspiring. To see Jesus on the cross is a reminder of the challenge He made to His disciples—the challenge He makes to me.

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself take up his cross daily and follow me.”

~ Luke 9:23

It’s not a suggestion or a good idea, it is the condition of discipleship. To be a disciple is to make your life about this challenge. And believe you me it is a challenge. This is why I need to be inspired. This is why I like to contemplate the image of Christ crucified, not because I enjoy seeing Him broken and bloody, but because I know those are the footsteps in which I must follow.

As a Christian I know I am called to be a martyr—a witness. Who I am in life and in death must bear witness to Christ. Whether that means I will literally lay down my life for Him I cannot be certain, but come what may, the challenge made to we disciples is just that—to accept the pain and suffering that can and will come our way because of our free decision to follow Jesus.

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

~ Matthew 5:10

Seeing Jesus on the cross is an inspirational example that I am called to follow, and this is another reason for the crucifix around my neck.

Reason #3 — Accountability

So Others Will Hold Me Accountable as a Christian

The last reason I wear a crucifix is for accountability. It is not jewelry. It is not meant to be flashy. But I do want others to see it. Not because I want them to think I am super holy, although I should be striving for holiness after all that is the call we share as Christians.

I wear a crucifix so that others may know that I am a Christian and hold me accountable to that claim. For it is one thing to tell people you are a Christian and another to show them that you are. I want to be treated different because of my faith. I want people to know that I live my life differently than most. When they know this they will expect me to. And if I don’t, then I need to called out for it.

Accountability is important. Fraternal correction is essential. We shouldn’t be able to parade around claiming to be new creations in Christ, but living lives that don’t follow suit. And the crucifix I wear is the perfect symbol of my faith that tells all those who encounter me that I am a Christian and take my faith seriously.

I can’t wear the crucifix and then deny my faith. It would cause scandal. People would notice. So it is the perfect way to invite others to challenge me to live my faith.

There may be other methods of achieving each of these three things shared here, but for me the crucifix is the best. If you wear a crucifix but don’t know why, then I hope these reflections have served to help you understand this practice on a deeper level. If you aren’t Catholic and always wondered why the crucifix is held in such high esteem among Catholics, then hopefully this explains it.

May the sacrifice of Christ on the cross bring the power of God’s love and mercy into each of our lives that we may “proclaim Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1:23) and “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19).

Question: Do you wear a crucifix? If so, is it for one of these reasons? If not, has this changed your perception about this practice? Please share your response below.

Want a Better Way to Lead Your Friends and Family to God?

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I do. And I’m sure you do too. So how do you get this message across to someone who doesn’t want to hear it? How do you share your faith with people in a way that will lead them to life change?

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Discussion


  • Edgar Frausto

    Really good points Ricky. I really like the aspect you brought up about the crucifix helping us to be accountable. Many wear it as an ornament around their neck or to signify their wealth, when it should be a reminder of the amazing sacrifice that Jesus did for love of us.

  • Edgar I’m with 100%! Thanks for the kind words.

  • lolwme

    Love your writing, clean, clear, and occasionally convincing, lol. About the Cross. While watching Filipino tv, The Eucharist Mass, last Sunday with my wife, we saw Christ as resurrected not on the Cross but floating in the air. I had asked our priest some months ago if it were possible to do that in our church but was told, in short, no but can’t recall his reasoning though he too said something like, “made ever-present at every Mass held everyday in every country around the world.” I don’t think such statements should be made when you haven’t witnessed hardly any masses in any other country much less “in every country around the world.” Statements like always, never, etc should be erased form the English (and other) language since they simply can’t be true. The only absolute I hold to is Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and His resurrection. I, too, though like the idea that wearing the “crucifix” helps make you accountable but only Christ holds me accountable and thus I do not wear a cross or crucifixion and not sure how you tell the difference. A photo would have been helpful in seeing what you consider the difference.

    I just noticed you have links to Cross and Crucifix but the photos are the same.

  • Fr. Swit Mujuni

    Thank you for your inspiring post.

  • good post. I wrote a post on the danger for Protestants on skipping Good Friday, and with it, dismissing the crucifix. While doing research I found your post, so I thought to share mine and would love to hear your thoughts. http://www.newlifetriangle.org/messages/2016/3/24/the-danger-of-skipping-good-friday

  • Daddy Lopez

    I am an adorer. I regularly on a weekly sit in my Catholic Churches adoration chapel. I am an every Sunday mass attender recently Me and my family have commited to 40 days of mass everyday. I also attend a nondenominational bible study weekly at another church even though it is supposed to be nondenominational bible study, I have faced opposition at various time because I wear a Crucifix. It has been at these time that I really cherish my time in the adoration chapel even more. It is here with the Blessed Sacrament and the Large Crucifix that God has revealed to me why the Crucifix is not only ok but Nessary.
    Starting with adam and eve. It was the forbidden fruit that was eaten from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.
    In that one tree and one act Man fell out of Disobedience and Wanting to be as God. It was Mans making and everytime we sin it is our making (Book of James” if you ask God and do not recieve it is because we ask out of own selfish desires”
    The Cross is the man made tree where the accuser (satan) accuses us of our transgressions, but it is the body of Christ on the Cross that shows us how he paid for our sins. His body which is at the same time all man all god has overcoming of the evil ones accusation of the Cross. In anchient time the cross was well know begining with persion it was not a symbol of Love but of Death, It is Christs Body on the cross which transformed it to a symbol of Love.

  • Grace Jezek

    Amen!

  • Giuseppe Antonio Ricciardi

    I love your blog’s, and this one is spot on. As a father I also wear a crucifix for my children, so they understand that our faith is not just for an hour on Sundays. More of us need to show our faith. God bless you and your family.

  • Michael Loctor

    Hypocrites…your so called crucifix is blasphemy towards the Messiah… you christians have no shame, wearing a deadman on a cross is sign of ridicule and blasphemy. Why don’t you just wear the cross instead without a deadman on it…

  • Michael, thanks for your comments. Glad you joined the discussion. The power of the symbol is in the act of His sacrifice, not the instrument of His torture. The cross is only a piece of wood constructed to inflict the maximum amount of pain for the maximum amount of time possibly. However the act of the crucifixion is the ultimate act of selfless love.

    “For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” — 1 Corinthians 1:22-24

    By your statement “you christians”, I assume you aren’t a Christian yourself. If that’s the case, I’m curious why the crucifix would bother you at all, and why you would consider it blasphemy?

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