It would be a very serious illusion to despise our daily crosses because they are small. Individually, they are indeed small; but occurring, as they do, almost every Instant, by their very multiplicity they provide the faithful soul with an immense sum of sacrifices and merits. –Abbot Vitalis Lehodey ‘Holy Abandonment’
It is from here that comes the burning wind which parches the land of Judea, as the breath of evil sterilizes the soul. The ancient Jews saw in this desert the region of sin. The neighborhood of the Dead Sea evoked in their minds the thought of God’s avenging visitations, and this is the reason why every year they drove into this desert the scapegoat, laden with the sins of Israel. The beast was solemnly cursed before the altar, driven into the valley of Kedron, where it was cast down into the deep abyss as a sacrifice for the people.
Jesus, as He looks in this direction from the Cross, cannot fail to reflect that He is this beast accursed, driven this very day out of the city, shut out from the world, driven forth to die, humbly and silently allowing Himself to be counted among the goats. –Father A.G. Sertillanges ‘What Jesus Saw From the Cross’
Walking into the empty sanctuary of his synagogue, a rabbi was suddenly possessed by a wave of mystical rapture. He threw himself onto the ground before the Ark proclaiming, “Lord, I’m Nothing!” Seeing the rabbi in such a state, the cantor felt profoundly moved by similar emotions. He too, threw himself down in front of the Ark, proclaiming, “Lord, I’m Nothing!”
Then, way in the back of the synagogue, the janitor threw himself to the ground, and he too shouted, “Lord, “I’m Nothing.” Whereupon, the rabbi turned to the cantor and whispered, “Look who thinks he’s Nothing!”
To people of the present time, enamored as they are with activity and self-sacrifice, this attitude of simply waiting on the divine good-pleasure may appear too passive. There is always this tendency to go too far in abandonment. Instead of permitting God to dispose of everything as He pleases, instead of waiting in tranquility until He decides according to His good-pleasure, souls rush forward to anticipate Him, to offer themselves, to consecrate themselves, to devout themselves. Some are unwilling to understand holy abandonment except as including this eagerness to sacrifice. But such a self-immolating disposition requires to be closely examined. –Abbot Vitalis Lehodey ‘Holy Abandonment’
We might say that the key to the whole problem is the omnipresence of God. “He sees God aright who sees Him in all things”; and he sees things aright who sees God’s presence within them. The burden of what the men of prayer have to tell us in this connection is just this; that if you fail to see God in things you fail to see the things themselves; and in consequence, if you love them, you are not really loving the things themselves but a part of them. And when you isolate this partial vision, and love it, you tend to make your love a form of self-love—you tend to love things for what they can give you, you, and always you—and so indeed you set yourself up against God, and so indeed creatures are a stumbling-block. But if, on the other hand, you realize that God is “all in all,” that He is what is inmost in things as well as what is infinitely apart from them, and that they are meant precisely to bring you to know Him—the visible things, as St Paul tells us, are meant precisely to teach us of the invisible—and if, therefore, you learn to love things not partially but wholly, then indeed you love all things, and love them the more passionately for loving them wholly, but at the same time you love nothing but God; there is no rivalry, there is only the all-inclusive universality of the Divine Love Itself. –Father Gerald Vann ‘The Divine Pity’
A loving mother cradles her Son,
Bodily heat shared,
The child grows,
Endless silence reigns,
Within faith, hope, and charity,
Standing eternal for all life,
The Cross awaits.