Denying yourself and taking up the Cross

An excerpt from the Gospel Reading for today’s Mass:

Luke 9:23-25: “Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?”

via USCCB.

Lent is a time of penance, of fasting from certain things and denying… the self? Are you using Lent as a means of denying your self-will, of choosing your will over God’s, in placing yourself above other people? Is God first, other people second, and yourself third on the list of priorities?

In the Gospel passage, Jesus lays down the conditions of discipleship. If you are to be a follower of Christ, you must place yourself at the service of others, serve them and their needs (to the best of your ability) and “take up the Cross.”

And what does that mean, to “take up the Cross?” As Jesus accepted the Cross on His way to Calvary, so to must we as we trudge along the road of happy destiny. The Cross symbolizes our willing acceptance of what it means to be Christian, as well as to accept and endure the daily trials and tribulations that come into our lives. We don’t shirk from them, we “offer them up” (donate spiritually) for our sins and those of others.

So, as you start Lent, take a look at how you are “denying yourself,” and how well you “take up the Cross.”

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"