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Meditation on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

Jesus surrendered himself in his death unconditionally to the absolute mystery that he called his Father, into whose hands he committed his existence, when in the night of his death and God-forsakenness he was deprived of everything that is otherwise regarded the content of a human existence: life, honor, acceptance in earthly and religious fellowship, and so on. In the concreteness of his death it becomes only too clear that everything fell away from him, even the perceptible security of the closeness of God’s love, and in this trackless dark there prevailed silently only the mystery that in itself and in its freedom has no name and to which he nevertheless calmly surrendered himself as to eternal love and not to the hell of futility...The Christian, every Christian at all times, follows Jesus by dying with him; following Jesus has its ultimate truth and reality and universality in the following of the Crucified...In all these brief moments of dying in installments we are faced with the question of how we cope with them...Do we merely protest, merely despair...become cynical and cling all the more desperately and absolutely to what has been taken from us?  Or do we abandon with resignation what is taken from us, accept twilight as promise of an eternal Christmas full of light, regard slight breakdowns as events of grace?-Karl Rahner

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