Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dying to self

“She stood at the foot of the Cross: not to mourn –that would have been far too small, far too remote from Him, for the sharing in the Passion which was her part –she came there to die – to stand quietly by the cross and die.” The Reed of God, C. Houselander.

St. Benedicta of the Cross in her book, The Science of the Cross, explains “to take one’s cross upon oneself, means entering into the dark night actively.” She then provides the directions given by St. John of the Cross:

1) Sustain always the desire to imitate Christ in all things and to bring your life into conformity with his. You must therefore study his life in order to imitate it and behave always as he would.

2) In order to do this well, you must deny yourself every pleasure that presents itself to your senses, keep it far from you if it is not solely directed to the honor and glory of God.

St. Benedicta concludes this part of the chapter with a final quote from St. John reminding the reader that God needs to do the work in the soul in addition to personal effort.

“No matter how much individuals do through their own efforts, they cannot actively purify themselves enough to be disposed in the least degree for the divine union of the perfection of love. God must take over and purge them in that fire that is dark for them.”
The Science of the Cross, (ICS Publications: 2002), 48, 49.

To begin the process of dying to self, in imitation of Our Lady, I will read the gospel today to study His life and learn to imitate it.
St Louis de Montfort Fourteen rules to follow in carrying one's crosses

Main text after 'Mary's Vitamin'