Monday, March 18, 2013
Setting Our Mind On Things Above: By: C.C.
"How Paul died daily is perfectly obvious. He never gave himself up to a sinful life but kept his body under constant control. He carried death with him, Christ’s death, wherever he went. He was always being crucified with Christ. It was not his own life he lived; it was Christ who lived in him. This surely was a timely death-a death whose end was true life.
I put to death and I shall give life, God says, teaching us that death to sin and life in the Spirit is his gift, and promising that whatever he puts to death he will restore to life again." (St. Gregory of Nyssa )
To be a follower of Christ is to cease to exist for oneself. It is to begin a journey of complete self surrender; it is truly a call to death. Through this mortification we find true life. To follow Christ is not a means of imprisonment, it is a liberation from all things that burden us.
During the Lenten season we are especially called to reflect upon aspects of our lives that hinder our walk with God.We often do not recognize the immensity of things that are burdening us until we are freed from them. Many things that we may have once considered tolerable become the very things we need to be freed from.
The way in which "Paul died daily" goes beyond an attachment to the external, it was an interior death aimed at purification of heart. This is a call that we too share. As we lead a life striving toward holiness and purity we will repeatedly experience "death" in many ways. We will be faced with the deepest parts of ourselves, taken to places unhealed, and undoubtedly faced with discomfort. It is tempting in these moments to feel that The Lord is far away, and yet, the truth is that He is ever near.
As our difficulties arise in the spiritual journey it is only by "setting our eyes on things above" that like Saint Paul, we will be able to die to self-- partially understanding the promise of "true life". We do this as a means of recommitting ourselves and to be reminded of the life that we are called to live. Though we can not yet experience this promise of true life in the fullest capacity there will be consolation along the way.
As we enter more deeply into relationship with the Lord and experience the purifying "fire" we are assured by faith that the hand of our all loving Father is upon us. As we continue to experience death along the journey and the shedding of sin, let us recall that "whatever he puts to death he will restore to life again". Courage! ( C.C.)
(Music Inspired this posting- The Kingdom of Heaven By: Jenny and Tyler)