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‘Widows and mothers who have lost their sons and daughters kneel before him, weeping. For his eyes still look lovingly and with concern through the dark shadows of death that surround him, upon the mother whom he must leave lonely.

Lovers prostrate themselves before the crucified. For with him is all the strength of love and all the strength that turns the disillusion of love into that love which is stronger than death, into that unique love of Christ which can feed on its own fire and stay alive.

Before the cross the scholars and wise men of this world kneel. They learn thereby that all wisdom that does not burn in the blessed foolishness of love is vain. They learn thereby that the logic of the cross, which to the Greeks is folly and to the Jews a scandal, is God's wisdom and God's strength for those who are saved by it. And they learn that it has pleased God to save the world through the folly of the cross before which every mouth is dumb and all the wisdom of the world humbles itself - before the folly of divine love.

God's priests kneel before the cross because they have to preach the cross and they are always drinking from the chalice of his failure. They kneel there because, with their sins and weaknesses, they are always putting themselves between God's light and men because more than all others they need his mercy.’

Karl Rahner (1904-1984).


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