“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Luke 9:23

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Jesus said,

“If any of you wants to be my follower,

you must turn from your selfish ways,

take up your cross daily,

and follow me.”

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– Luke 9:23 (NLT)

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REFLECTION…

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If we are to follow Jesus,

we have to carry our own Cross.

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Our Lord, addressing Himself to all mankind, speaks of the daily Cross:

“If any of you wants to be my follower,

you must turn from your selfish ways,

take up your cross daily,

and follow me.”

And these words of Jesus retain their fullest value.

They are words spoken to all men and women who want to follow Him.

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There is no such thing as Christianity without the Cross.

There is no Christianity specifically designed for soft and fainthearted Christians with no sense of sacrifice.

Christianity is clearly not for those who lack courage or determination.

Our Lord goes on to state a condition that is absolutely necessary, a sine qua non:

“And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me,

you cannot be my disciple.”

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One of the earliest symptoms of lukewarmness having entered into a soul

is precisely the abandoning of one’s Cross,

that contempt for little mortifications,

that scorning of anything that in some way involves sacrifice and self-denial.

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To flee from the Cross is to turn one’s back on holiness and joy.

The fruits of the mortified soul

are a capacity to relate closer to God and other people,

as well as a profound peace and internal joy,

even in the midst of trouble and suffering and external difficulties.

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Christian discipline

is about self-control and self-denial so as to overcome the desire for sin and to strengthen the will.

Those who abandon Christian self-discipline

are inevitably ensnared by their own senses…and they lose their way.

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QUOTE…

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“Sacrifice always brings with it joy in the midst of pain,

the happiness of knowing that we are fulfilling God’s will,

and of making the effort to love Him.”

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– R. M. de Balbin, Sacrifice and Joy.

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REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…

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My Jesus, it is only Your great love which helps me to accept my sufferings

and to carry my Cross in such a way that I may be Your true follower.

Lord, thank You for Your love and sacrifice for me. Thank You for Your joy.

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… … … … … … … … … … … …… …

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Note: The main source of today’s REFLECTION is the seven-volume work

“In Conversation with God” by Padre Francisco Fernández Carvajal.

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