Recalling the moment when Jesus felt utterly forsaken by the Father, St John of the Cross observed
This was the most extreme abandonment, sensitively, that he had suffered in his life.
And by it he accomplished the most marvellous work of his whole life, surpassing all
the works and deeds and miracles that he had ever performed on earth or in heaven.
That is, he brought about the reconciliation and union of the human race with God
through grace. The Lord achieved this... at the moment in which he was most
annihilated in all things: in his reputation before people, since in watching him die
they mocked him instead of esteeming him; in his human nature , by dying; and in
spiritual help and consolation from his Father, for he was forsaken by his Father,
at that time, annihilated and reduced to nothing, so as to pay the debt fully and bring people
to union with God.1
The path to union with God is not as smooth as we might be inclined to believe. Every so often
we may hear a sly voice saying "You can never make it through this experience of dying and rising
with Jesus without the comfort and security as to which you are accustomed. Think of how
many souls never heed that call and yet seem to be happy"
God's invitation to transformation is not a stern demand but an appeal of ineffable love. The Good
Shepherd uses his staff and his rod to guide us away from the insinuations of our false self to the
recognition of who we most deeply are. Freed from our old ways of superficial living, we are free
to wait upon the Lord and behold, if only for a brief duration, the meaning of our providential
Now is the time to prepare a place in our hearts for
the coming of the Lord.
1. The ascent of Mount Carmel , in the collected Works of Saint John of The Cross 2A 7:11 P.172