If only we could all be saints

clydes-cross-2Devotional Thought of the Day:

19  So far as the Law is concerned, however, I am dead—killed by the Law itself—in order that I might live for God. I have been put to death with Christ on his cross, 20  so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. 21  I refuse to reject the grace of God. But if a person is put right with God through the Law, it means that Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:19-21 (TEV)

401      ”To be nailed to the Cross!” This aspiration kept coming again and again, as a new light, to the mind and heart and lips of a certain soul. “To be nailed to the Cross?”, he asked himself. “How hard it is!” And yet he knew full well the way he had to go: agere contra—self denial. This is why he earnestly implored, “Help me, Lord!”

“I am my own worst enemy!”  It is all too true!

It is why St. Josemaria’s “certain soul” would aspire to be nailed to the cross.  It is why we need to be nailed to the cross, to see our broken lives stop entering into one vicious encounter with sin after another. 

If only it were as simple as the Apostle Paul indicates, this sacrifice of our self, this denial of that within us that craves its own way, that demands to be nurtured. How incredible life would be, how simple and easy, how full of joy, if we could only lay down all self-interest.  If Christ would so dominate our lives, if His desires were our desires, if His ability to love drove us to love the unlovable if we could make reconciling people to the Father our mission, as it was His.

If only we were all saints, for didn’t they find imitating Christ easy?

Of course, they didn’t.  Of course, they struggled and had to learn self-denial the hard way,  Although now that I think of it, it is not the hard way, it is the only way. 

Paul tells us it is only possible by trusting in God, depending upon Him.   St Josemaria indicates it happens as we implore Jesus to help us, to come to our aid.  Without His involvement, self-denial is contrary to our reflex action.  It will take a miracle to override our narcissistic nature, our desire to ourselves first, and automatic response of self-defense. 

This is faith too, to be bold enough to ask God for the mercy that helps us rely on Him.  It requires faith to depend on Jesus to temper our nature, and He will.  That is the promise of our baptism! The promise that there we were crucified with Christ, united with His death.  

This is His grace, His rescuing us from our brokenness, our wretchedness.  This is what Love looks like, as Jesus rescues us from ourselves, and transforms us into saints. 

Let us pray we depend on it more and more.  AMEN!

Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1558-1562). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

 

 

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on December 15, 2017, in Devotions, Poiema, The Forge and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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