Now, here is what I read:
I cannot conceive that the cross should remain, which was, after all, only a crossroads. It certainly should not be a brand mark. For is the situation not this: he intended simply to provide the loftier tree, on which we could ripen better. He, on the cross, is this new tree in God, and we were to be warm, happy fruit, at the top of it.
We should not always talk of what was formerly, but the afterwards should have begun. This tree, it seems to me, should have become so one with us, or we with it, and by it, that we should not need to occupy ourselves continually with it, but simply and quietly with God, for his aim was to lift us up into God more purely.
When I say: God, that is a a great conviction in me, not something learnt. It seems to me the whole creation speaks this word, without reflection, though often out of deep thoughtfulness. If Christ has helped us to say it more fully, more effectually, with a clearer voice, so much the better, but now at last leave him out of the question. Do not always force us back into the labour and sorrow that it cost him to 'redeem' us. Let us, at last, enter into this state of redemption.........
Christ pointed towards God. Instead of setting out from the place of the crossroads where this sign was high and lifted up into the night of his sacrifice, instead of proceeding onwards from this place of the cross, Christianity has settled down there and claims that it is living there in Christ. But they do not dwell in Christ, these stubborn of heart, who continually bring him back again and live from the setting up of the cross. There was no room for him in there, not even for his mother, nor for Mary Magdalene, as there is never room for anyone who points the way, who is a gesture and not a dwelling place. They have on their conscience this standing around in an overcrowded place; it is their fault that the journey does not begin to follow the direction of the arms of the cross.....What folly to direct our thoughts to a Beyond, when we are surrounded by tasks and expectations and future prospects!
.......The right use is the thing. To take a good hold of this life, with warm affection and wonder, as our sole possession in the meantime; this is what Saint Francis of Assisi thought to write down in his song to the Sun, which was more glorious to him as he lay dying than was the cross, which only stood there to point to the sun. But the song of the dying man, drowned out on all sides, was heard only by a few simple monks, and infinitely confirmed by the landscape of his lovely valley.Rainer Maria Rilke: Rodin and other prose pieces
Now, I do not entirely know what I think about all this. I have abridged it here, of course. It is very long. But, it does strike me that there is a point to be made. I have just got back from the Easter Vigil. And that has got to be the beginning of something new, a departure from what went on before (on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday). One thing I would very much like to hear more on is living life to the fullest, as a redeemed creature in a new creation: living life to the full and rejoicing in it. I don't reckon we hear enough of that. Or look enough towards it, although I am pretty sure our preacher said something similar tonight. I am making an Easter resolution to look towards the sun.