Pick up your Cross and Follow Me!

By Matthew Canter

mp-Iron MikeAnyone familiar with the US Army Infantry knows that its motto is ‘Follow Me!’

The infantry is the main land combat force and backbone of the Army. They are responsible for defending our country against any threat by land, as well as capturing, destroying and repelling enemy ground forces. As such, the infantry plays the central role in the army as the premier fighting force for all combat operations. This motto of ‘Follow Me!’ is analogous to our Catholic faith.

As Catholic men, we are called to be at the forefront of our family’s endeavors to show love both inside and outside our homes. The analogy helps us hold fast to the idea that we cannot expect our families to go into something that we ourselves would be unwilling to do. We must see our objective as leading from the front as we journey together to heaven.

Take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24)

This analogy gains a new perspective when we put it into the context of Christ. Far too often Catholics tend to associate Christ as a moral messenger and forget that he was brutally tormented by a state that had perfected the act of torture. If we are called to follow Him, then we, in turn, are called to suffer. We must remember that suffering takes on many forms. The Christian example is always to die to yourself for the sake of another. This is the example that Christ gave us. This is what it means to be a man of the cross.

There is no greater love than that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13)

Whether you are married or single, you are called to be of service to others and lead; to pick up your cross.

Photo Credit: Follow Me! – Iron Mike, Fort Benning Georgia
Photo by John D. Helms – john.d.helms@us.army.mil