Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Losing Your Life

Before I put up posts on the priesthood, prophecy, and kingship of the Christian lay faithful, I have a brief observation to make.

"For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?" (Mt 16:25-26).

Many people may prance through life happily doping themselves up and dodging reality. They might try to do things their own way, and then find diversions and medications to cover up the pain - TV, sex, drugs, exercise, career, whatever. But we Christians do not have that option. We will either give up Christ's way or give up our own way. We can try to play it both ways, to serve both God and Mammon, but we will end up hating one or the other (Mt 6:24). Something has to give way, and if we continue to serve Christ, but have a hard time dying to ourselves, then Christ will kill us.

That sounds horrible, but I mean it, though not as it might sound. What I mean is that as we cling to him, he will will continue to work on us, to cut out the sick and cancerous parts of our souls. If we are recalcitrant and backslide, it will take longer to die to ourselves, but as long as we keep clinging to Christ, He will keep killing us, peeling away the things that we use to hide from Him, to hide from reality.

When we have finished dying to ourselves, or maybe even as we learn to die to ourselves (oh God, bring it sooner), a new sort of Life begins to grow in us. That Life is Christ in us, the engine (if you will) by which we are propelled into an eternity of joy. But the old way of living has got to die first.

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