How we must Follow Christ's Way of the Cross in Self-Denial
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.
THE DISCIPLE. Lord Jesus, just as Your brief life was despised by the world, grant that I may follow You in bearing the world's contempt. For the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the pupil superior to his teacher.(Matt.10:24) Let Your servant be instructed in Your life, for it is the source of salvation and true holiness. Whatever I study or hear beside this affords me neither new strength nor fullest joy.
CHRIST. My son, since you know and have studied these things, blessed are you if you do them. (John 13:17) Whoever truly loves Me knows and obeys My commands. I will love him, and will reveal Myself to him,(John 14:21) and he shall reign with Me in the Kingdom of My Father.(Rev.3:21)
THE DISCIPLE. Lord Jesus, let it be as You have said; and may I merit the fulfilment of Your promise. I have accepted the Cross from Your own hands : as You have laid it upon me, I have accepted it, and will bear it until death. The life of a good Religious is truly a cross, but it is also our guide to Paradise. We have begun ; we may not turn back, nor can we abandon it. Up, then, my brothers! Let us go forward together! Jesus will be with us.. For Jesus' sake, we have taken up the cross ; for Jesus' sake, let us persevere in it. He will be our helper, who is also our leader ; He has gone before us. See, our King advances in the vanguard, and will fight for us ! Let us follow like men ; no terrors shall daunt us. We must be ready to die bravely in battle,(IMacc.3:59) and never tarnish our glory by deserting the Cross.
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