the cross

LENTEN MEDITATION: The Royal Road by Thomas à Kempis

March 13, 2017

From: The Imitation of Christ There will always be many who love Christ’s Heavenly kingdom, but few who will bear his cross.  Jesus has many who desire consolation, but few who care for adversity.  He finds many to share his table, but few who will join him in fasting.  Many are eager to be happy with him; few wish to suffer anything for him.  Many will follow him as far as the breaking of bread, but few will remain to drink from his passion.  Many are awed by his miracles, few accept the shame of his cross. Many love Christ as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless him as long as they receive some comfort from him.  But if Jesus hides himself and leaves them for a while, they either start complaining or [...]

EVELYN UNDERHILL THROUGH LENT: The Cross And Its Demands

April 3, 2015

From Light of Christ “It is not the act of a good disciple,” says Saint John of the Cross, “to flee from the cross in order to enjoy the sweetness of an easy piety.”  So here above all, by the crucifix and what it means to us, we test the quality of our discipleship.  What we think about the cross means ultimately what we think about life, for “seek where you will,” says à Kempis, “everywhere you will find the cross.”  And when you have found it, what are you going to do about it?  That is the question: look at it with horror or with adoration? It has been said that the whole life of Christ was a cross.  I think that saying does grave injustice to its richness of response, to the real [...]

EVELYN UNDERHILL THROUGH LENT: Forgiveness

March 31, 2015

From Abba There is no lesson Christ loves better to drive home, than this disconcerting fact of our common human fragility: which, when we have truly grasped it, kills resentment and puts indulgent pity in its place.  Let the man, the group, the nation that is without sin cast the first stone.  God’s forgiveness means the compassionate recognition of the weakness and instability of a man; how often we cannot help it, how truly there is in us a “root and ground of sin,” an implicit rebellion against the Holy, a tendency away from love and peace.  And this requires of us the constant compassionate recognition of our fellow-creatures’ instability and weakness; of the fact that they too cannot help it.  If the [...]

EVELYN UNDERHILL THROUGH LENT: Cross And Sacrament

March 22, 2015

From Light of Christ To look at the Crucifix – “the supreme symbol of our august religion” – if we do that honestly and unflinchingly we don’t need any other self-examination than that, any other judgment or purgation.  The lash, the crown of thorns, the mockery, the stripping, the nails – life has equivalents of all these for us and God asks a love for himself and his children which can accept and survive all that in the particular way in which it is offered to us.  It is no use to talk in a large vague way about the love of God; here is its point of insertion in the world of men. What about the dreadful moment when a great test of courage, great suffering, a great bereavement faced us and we knew we were [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Second Station — Jesus Christ Receives The Cross, by Evelyn Underhill

March 9, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Takes Up the Burden of the World That outpouring of the Divine Wisdom, that life-giving link made between human and divine, which we call the Incarnation of the Word, is from first to last a free gift; a sacrifice of the fullness of divine perfection, that thereby humanity’s true measure may be fulfilled – “man’s nothing perfect” amended by the influx of “God’s all-complete.”  It is the penalty of this descent of the Desirous God towards us – of this sharp exhibition of the dim-eyed soul of Eternal Wisdom at work within his world – that the full burden of man’s mistakes, confusions, ignorances, and sins should be taken [...]