Holy Saturday: The Reality of Death

HolySaturday-JesusLaidInTheTomb-OBrien-01Holy Saturday is the day of the tomb.  Jesus died on Good Friday and resurrects on Easter Sunday, so Holy Saturday is the day in between death and new life.  Last year, on this day, I provided a meditation based on the song “Memory” from the musical Cats.   This year, for this in-between day, I offer a short meditation from Etty Hillesum, a Jewish woman who hid other Jews in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.  Her account of that time, An Interrupted Life, is a classic of spiritual and liberation literature.  The following quotation comes from that book:

“The reality of death has become a definite part of my life; my life has, so to speak, been extended by death, by looking death in the eye and accepting it, by accepting destruction as part of life and no longer wasting my energies on fear of death or the refusal to acknowledge its inevitability. It sounds paradoxical: by excluding death from our life, we cannot live a full life, and by admitting death into our life we can enlarge and enrich it.”

May we all experience the grace of which Etty Hillesum writes.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

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