Monday in Holy Week

Daily Reading for April 6 • Monday in Holy Week

If then we look at the Crucifix—“that supreme symbol of our august religion,” as von Hügel loved to call it—and then at our selves, testing by the Cross the quality of our courage and love; if we do this honestly and unflinchingly, this will be in itself a complete self-examination, judgment, purgatory. It is useless to talk in a large vague way about the Love of God. Here is its point of insertion in the world of men, in action, example and demand. Every Christian is required to be an instrument of God’s rescuing action; and His power will not be exerted through us except at considerable cost to ourselves. Muzzy, safety-first Christianity is useless here. We must accept the world’s worst if we are to give it of our best. The stinging lash of humiliation and disillusionment, those unfortunate events which strip us of the seamless robe of convention and reserve, and expose us naked to the world in the weakness of our common humanity, the wounds given by those we love best, the revelation that someone we had trusted could not be trusted any more, and the peculiar loneliness and darkness inseparable from some phases of the spiritual life, when it looks as though we were forsaken and our ultimate hope betrayed: all these are sufficiently common experiences, and all can be united to the Cross. Here again Christ remains without our limitations. He hallows real life, and invites us to hallow it by the willing consecration of our small humiliations, sacrifices and pains; transmuting them into part of that creative sacrifice, that movement of faith, hope and charity in which the human spirit is most deeply united to the Spirit of God.

From The School of Charity: Meditations on the Christian Creed by Evelyn Underhill (London: Longmans, Green and Co Ltd., 1934).

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