"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68


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First Sunday of Lent
Commentary of the day
Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938), Spanish Trappist monk
Spiritual writings, 15/12/1936 (trans. 'To know how to wait', Mairin Mitchell)

The Son of God rejects the temptations of other ways and obeys the Father's will

I, too, once went tearing along the roads of Spain, with the idea of making the speedometer register ninety kilometers an hour: how foolish! When I was conscious that for me, the horizon marked earth's uttermost limit, I suffered the disappointment of one who enjoys earthly freedom, for the earth is small and moreover quickly comes to an end. Man is bounded by narrow and limited horizons, and for him whose soul aspires after infinite horizons, earthly ones aren't enough, they throttle him; the world isn't sufficient for him, and only in the vastness and immensity of God will he find what he is seeking. You free men, making journeys around this planet, I don't envy you your life in the world; enclosed in a convent at the foot of a Crucifix I have boundless freedom, I have Heaven, I have God. What a great blessing it is to have a heart that is in love with Him!...

Poor Brother Rafael!... Go on waiting, waiting with that sweet serenity which sure hope gives. Keep calm, unshaken, a prisoner of your God at the foot of his tabernacle. Listen to the distant uproar coming from men enjoying a few short days of freedom in the world, listen from afar to their voices, their laughter, their lamentations, their wars. Listen, and meditate for a moment. Meditate on a God who is infinite, who made the earth and mankind, He, the supreme Lord of skies and lands, rivers and seas, who in an instant, simply by willing it created out of the void all that exists.

Mediate for a moment on the life of Christ and you will see that it has no freedom, no outcry or clamor; you will see the Son of God subject to humankind, you will see Jesus, obedient, submissive, and with what steadfast calm he keeps as the only law of his life the fulfillment of the Father's will. And lastly, look on Christ nailed to a cross. And we talk of freedom!

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