Friday, October 6, 2006

How We Must Follow Christ's Way of the Cross in Self-Denial

I read this last night in 'The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis' and I wanted to share it with you all. To me it seems to succinctly explain the path to holiness, to alter christus.
CHRIST. My son, you will be able to enter into Me in so far as you are prepared to forsake yourself. And as the absence of craving for material things makes for inner peace, so does the forsaking of self unite man's heart to God. I wish you to learn perfect self-surrender, and to accept My will without argument or complaint. Follow me,(Matt.9:9) who am the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) Without the Way, there is no progress ; without the Truth, there is no knowledge ; without the Life, there is no living. I am the Way you must follow; the Truth you must believe ; the Life for which you must hope. I am the imperishable Way, the infallible Truth, the eternal Life. I am the most noble Way, the ultimate Truth, the true Life, blessed and uncreated. If you remain in My Way, you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free, (John 8:32) and you shall lay hold on eternal Life.(John 8:12; ITim. 6:12)
If you wish to enter into Life, keep My Commandments.(Matt.19:17) If you wish to know the Truth, believe Me. If you wish to be perfect, sell everything.(Matt.19:21) If you wish to be My disciple, deny yourself.(Matt.16:24) If you wish to possess the blessed Life, despise this present life. If you wish to be exalted in Heaven, be humble in this world. If you wish to reign with Me, bear the cross with Me ; for none but the servants of the Cross discover the Way of blessedness and true light.
What a wonderful and powerful passage. Giving up everything you own in order to come into Him. In order to seperate yourself from the material world. This isn't symbolism, this is the Truth. Yes, with a capital 'T'. All of which ties in nicely with the other book I was reading last night, the COMPENDIUM to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Chapter 3:Man's Response to God. In the very first question under 'I Believe' (pg. 11), the question is as follows:
25. How does man respond to God who reveals Himself?
Sustained by divine grace, we respond to God with the obedience of faith, which means the full surrender of ourselves to God and the acceptance of His truth insofar as it is gauranteed by the One who is Truth itself.
There's that word again, Truth. To surrender completely to God is to be completely free of the world. I like the sound of that. Isn't our Catholic faith a wonderful gift from God, especially when he gave his only Son for us in order so we may know the Truth. To read another posting on Thomas A Kempis click here. To read the online book click here.


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