Posted April 14, 2008
Book: A Turning to God
Author: Cardinal Basil Hume
Liturgical Press. Collegeville, MN. 2007. Pp. 95
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
Cardinal Basil Hume carried about within himself a still centre that was almost tangible. He possessed an inner something that spoke of a dedication to “life’s pilgrimage with God.” It gave him the tranquillity to face every difficulty and crisis with equanimity. This compilation by Patricia Hardcastle Kelly opens up for us something of the prayerful insights of Basil Hume. These insights were influenced by an ever-growing understanding of how God was continually drawing close to him and, indeed, to all of us if only we gave time to notice. This book is for everyone who wishes to step out on that journey of discovery which, in turning to God, leads to a deeper understanding of how close God is to us and how it is only in him that we, too, can find that still centre that brings with it a peace that permeates life.
An Excerpt from the Book:
A Share in Christ’s Passion
Wednesday of the second week of Lent
The mother of Zebedee’s sons said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom’. ‘You do not know what you are asking’, Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said, ‘you shall drink my cup.’
Often, we are called upon to share in the Passion of Christ; in very small ways, each day; the various difficulties, contradictions, misunderstandings, and so forth; and at times there can be long periods of stress and strain, periods of sadness and sorrow, in which we truly are living the Passion of Christ in our lives.
Now, such suffering is purposeful and valuable — it has a value precisely because Christ has risen from the dead, precisely because he has overcome all that is negative in suffering, and given it a particular value, since each sharing in the Passion of Christ leads us to a greater sharing in the life of his resurrection.
It is purposeful at different levels — first of all, it saves us from deceiving ourselves into thinking that achievement in this world is the thing that really matters, and reminds us that our treasure is in heaven. Every difficulty in life is a call from God to turn one’s attention to him, and to try to find in him the ultimate meaning of our lives.
Secondly, at a mystical level: meditating on the Passion of Christ we grow in sympathy for, and understanding of, what he did for us.
It has always been a Christian instinct in times of stress and difficulty to recognize that one is participating in the Passion of Christ, and that this is good, in that it draws one closer to him.
Father, help us to turn our suffering to positive love for you, and lead us to share in Christ’s resurrection.
Table of Contents:
Daily Readings for Lent