For some time now I have been interested in making "religious quilts" or maybe I could call them "quilts of faith"? I really don't know. One of the things that I just absolutely adore about Catholicism is how we use all of our senses to worship. I love to know the WHY of everything. In fact, when my husband (then boyfriend) first took me to his church (he was Catholic, I was Evangelical) I began with all the why questions: Why do you kneel before you go into the pew? Why is there water at the entrance to the church? Why does the priest wear a dress? Who is that person in the statue? etc. etc. I can't even believe he wanted to continue to date me. You must understand that I came from a church that was very plain and I disdained ornamentation in a church believing the money would be better spent going to the poor. And don't even get me started on what I thought about Mary and the Saints (I'll save that for yet another post).
Well, as He is wont to do, God has worked on my heart, and my attitude. I have come to understand how a church can be built to the glory of God. After all, if we believe Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, shouldn't we house him in splendor? Of course we must be on our guard to not put the church building above Christ and the mission he calls us to. We must not put all of our resources into a building. After all, that building is of this world and Christ calls us to "love one another as I have loved you."
Now I'm getting off my initial topic. What I wanted to tell you is that I love religious symbols. I don't have a great understanding of them and wanted more. Imagine my in-laws surprise when they asked what I wanted for Christmas and I said a book about the symbols of Catholicism. Not something you can just pick up at the mall. Well, leave it to my dear father-in-law to find a book! It was very interesting. Actually they got me another book as well that was equally as interesting. I just love to know the "hows" and "whys" of this stuff. It helps me in my journey to Christ.
Ok, so I have been pondering my "purpose" in sewing. Is this worth while? Since I've been thinking on religious symbolism in fabric I thought that perhaps it was God giving me a nudge so yesterday I took some left over squares from this quilt, looked through the book and decided to try the Chi-Rho. The Chi-Rho is a symbol taken from the first two letters in the Greek word for Christ (XPICTOC, pronounced "Christos"). It has been used for centuries to represent Christianity. The symbol is often used to designate the priest (or on priestly garments or chairs, etc.) because the Rho (P) often is styled to look like a shepherd's crook and the priest is a shepherd to his flock and serves under Christ, the great shepherd.