birchleaves2

Somebody once told me that the surpassing, supreme rule of my life was: deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me. That “deny yourself” is the work of a soul who wants only to be hidden away, who wants nothing for himself, who longs only for divine love, and who understands that God does not want us to renounce only the world, but to renounce something much more difficult: ourselves. That self-renunciation is a renunciation of something we carry around inside of us, I don’t know how to explain it, something that truly hinders us … perhaps you’ll understand: when you place yourself at the foot of the tabernacle, and look at Jesus, and contemplate his wounds, and cry at his feet, and you realize that in the face of Christ’s immense love, you disappear, your tears disappear, your entire soul is overwhelmed and becomes like a tiny speck of sand in the vastness of the sea. 

Source: St. Rafael Arnáiz: The Collected Works, trans. Catherine Addington (Cistercian Publications, 2022)

What Holy Saturday meant to the disciples, only those who have loved much and lost can know.