We offer this feature article by Fr Guido Arguelles for your Holy Week reading and reflection. He writes that the city of man is the new site of Calvary, of the site of two Calvaries, and asks us to choose whether to be crucified with Christ or without Him.
THE TWO CALVARIES by Fr Guido Arguelles
Calvary is attractively relevant today – especially today. The shadow of the Cross looms evermore persistently midst the neon lights of our cities…
The city of man cannot quite dissociate itself from the Christ of Calvary. The city of man is the new site of Calvary – of many calvaries – of two calvaries:
The Calvary without Christ
The Calvary with Christ.
The Calvary Without Christ:
– The calvary of pleasure that produces nausea.
– The calvary of materialism that produces emptiness.
– The calvary of sex that satiates without satisfying.
– The calvary of noise and sounds that creates hollowness in the heart.
– The calvary of the neutron bomb that is supposed to hold off war but threatens the lives of all.
– The calvary of progress that is progress only for those who benefit from it, not those unjustly exploited.
– The calvary of the crowd that only punctuates the loneliness of each person.
– The calvary of action that does not spring from prayer.
– The calvary of hard drinks that leaves the soul dry.
To all these calvaries, Christ offers his own:
The Calvary With Christ:
– The calvary of asceticism that makes man inwardly free.
– The calvary of life in the spirit that produces a longing to be with Him.
– The calvary of purity that enables one to live in love.
– The calvary of weakness that serves as the basis for community.
– The calvary of non-violence that wears down its foes.
– The calvary of insight that one must bear in loneliness.
– The calvary of solitude that results in an all-encompassing community.
– The calvary of prayer that becomes a divine restlessness to do something for Christ.
– The calvary of parents’ love that is unrequited by the children.
– The calvary of action that creates a hunger for prayer.
– The calvary of prophet’s voice unheard and unheeded in the wilderness of sin and greed.
Thus it is not a choice between having it or not having it.
Calvary is rather a choice of crucifixion without Christ or crucifixion with Christ.
But crucifixion there will be.
There is a calvary for those who accept the cross.
There is an even greater calvary for those who reject it.
By all means, be crucified but with Christ, and thus be crucified unto salvation.
Or insist on being crucified without Christ and thus be crucified unto damnation.
The world – Pope and Bishops, Presidents and Kings, husbands and wives, children and parents, capitalist and laborers, communists and socialists, black and white, Easterner and Westerner – all of us are thus faced with a question that is also an answer:
Will you choose to be crucified with Christ or without Him?
Remember: The painful solution you refuse to accept TODAY will become the pain without a solution tomorrow.
Reprinted from the Feb-Mar 1993 KAPATIRAN