book II: chapter 7

“And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall. But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.'” (Matthew 27:33-34)

“And he said to all, ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.'” (Luke 9:23-24)

The Taste of Gall

The sweetness of consolation,
Is candy for the infant soul;
The gall of Christ’s desolation
Upon the cross should be the goal.

The hallmark of self-indulgence —
The sweet tooth — contradicts the cross.
Self-denial has consequence:
The soul is purified from dross.

Denial of the self entails
A constant struggle through the night.
Though she stumbles, and often fails,
She perseveres to do what’s right.

Deny the self; cling to the cross:
God is the gain in ev’ry loss.

May Christ Crucified be our model of self-denial and may He grant us the grace to endure the night.

(c) Paul Buis, 2003