Take up your cross daily ... he who wishes to save his life will lose it

I’m just curious as to how people view these verses and how they move them. In addition those who love their life, etc.

These have always been the hardest readings (and probably with reason). I can comprehend accepting a horrible death for the sake of Christ, I pray I don’t have to, but I can understand it. It’s the living in complete self-denial that gets my full OCD going and almost shuts me down from any action. I fear playing with my young son is bad, because it’s something I enjoy in my life. I worry playing golf, or sports are bad because I enjoy them. Even enjoying a romantic dinner or discussion with my wife, could be spent in self denial.

I can fully embrace that we are too live for Christ. Love neighbor as self … all of them. Trust in God’s way and realize that putting faith in money, or lust, etc. will ultimately not be as fullfilling. I get that we need to push beyond being comfortably numb. I get that we should be generous, and willing to share the good news. It’s this idea that makes me think everything is bad, that paralyzes me. Maybe it is because I just haven’t let go of myself completely … but I’d love to hear how other people react to these readings.

I have some of those same thoughts.

Yes, we can identify, but in our humanity we all fall short of the Glory of God.
We pray for perseverance in goodness and trust completely in God’s mercy.Peace, Carlan

Some of us are still wondering about the original question and would like some specifics.

Carry our cross daily and deny ourselves means having to accept doing those things which cause us pain and sorrow…illness, death, having to struggle with earning a living,
suffering rejection and hurt by loved ones, our neighbors. These are some of the things
Christ wants us to bare and take up daily in the attitude of the Doctrine of the Cross.
It means offering up those sorrows for the redemption of a sinful world.

He does not want us to deny ourselves the joy of living life to please ourselves and our loved ones and our neighbor.The pleasure and the joy we give each other is part of the happy life.
Most of us are not called to live life as a Hermit or a cloistered Nun or a Monk.

peace, Carlan

I see, thanks. This is indeed a difficult passage, especially for us Swimmers who don’t yet ‘get it.’

Its up to you how much you want to suffer for God. It doesnt make you less loved by God but it just what you can. God know what we can and cant do but we should always strive to suffer for God without putting your family in harms way because that is your vocation. As a single man i know i need to do better with my penances because i spoil myself too much. For a parent raising kids should be enough penance work for God.:smiley:

=ab75;6871583]I’m just curious as to how people view these verses and how they move them. In addition those who love their life, etc.

These have always been the hardest readings (and probably with reason). I can comprehend accepting a horrible death for the sake of Christ, I pray I don’t have to, but I can understand it. It’s the living in complete self-denial that gets my full OCD going and almost shuts me down from any action. I fear playing with my young son is bad, because it’s something I enjoy in my life. I worry playing golf, or sports are bad because I enjoy them. Even enjoying a romantic dinner or discussion with my wife, could be spent in self denial.

I can fully embrace that we are too live for Christ. Love neighbor as self … all of them. Trust in God’s way and realize that putting faith in money, or lust, etc. will ultimately not be as fullfilling. I get that we need to push beyond being comfortably numb. I get that we should be generous, and willing to share the good news. It’s this idea that makes me think everything is bad, that paralyzes me. Maybe it is because I just haven’t let go of myself completely … but I’d love to hear how other people react to these readings.

My dear friend in Christ;

“Every good-thing is from God” and that is GREAT NEWS…

Perhaps you’ll recall reading or hearing that there "is a “season” [an approiate time] for everything under heaven. [Ecclesiastes chapter 3]. A time to carry the CROSSES GIVEN TO US BY CHRIST [as well as those we choose for ourselves], as well a times to enjoy the many Blessings and Gifts God gives us.

Playing with your son is a GRAVE MORAL obligation, not a cross. It is essential to his full developement both as a person and as a child of God. I STRONLY suggest for most folks, it is more than sufficient to simply accept, carry and do so cheerfully, the Crosses that come from the Carpenter Himself. That alone is sufficient for our salvation so long as we avoid serious Mortal sins.

Even Christ did not carry His Cross every minute of every day. He too took time for simple pleaures at times, to show us that we too need down time."

Grand dad ued to say when we seek trouble we are far more likely to find it. ALLOW GOD TO FORM AND DIRECT YOU! Whn God wants more from you He will make His Will known to you.:slight_smile:

Love and prayers,
Pat

Luke 9:23 - “let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

To deny yourself, I think, is shown best in Luke 21:1-4 about the widows offering. There is also the aspect of controlling the passions. St. Paul treats this well in Romans chapter 6.

To take up your cross daily is best explained by Thomas a Kempis in The Imitation of Christ when he says “As long as we live in this world we cannot be without tribulation and temptation.” “Therefore everyone ought to be solicitous about his temptations, and to watch in prayer, lest the devil, who never sleeps, find room to deceive him.”

Luke 9:24 - “For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.”

This has to do with denying Faith in Jesus. There are many levels of this denial, not just martyrdom. As an example of one of these aspects, here is a quote from The Sinner’s Guide by Venerable Louis of Granada - “true happiness does not consist in sensible or corporal pleasures, as the disciples of Epicurus and Mahomet assume. In the same class we may place bad Christians whose lips deny the doctrines of these men, but whose lives are entirely in accordance with them. For do not the majority of the rich, who spend their lives in the mad pursuit of pleasure, tacitly acknowledge with Epicureans that pleasure is their last end, and with Mahometans that sensual delight is their paradise? Why do you not abhor the lives of those whose teachings you profess to condemn? If you will have the paradise of Mahomet, you must expect to lose that of Christ.”

‘I fear playing with my young son is bad, because it’s something I enjoy in my life. I worry playing golf, or sports are bad because I enjoy them. Even enjoying a romantic dinner or discussion with my wife, could be spent in self denial.’

This depends on your intentions, which only you and God can know. Taking your wife out to dinner can be self denial, in that you are spending hard earned money so your wife can relax and not work for awhile. If, on the other hand, it’s because you want to stuff yourself with really good food, because she can’t cook or you’re trying to ‘make points’…
Sports and exercise are necessary to keep the body in good shape. While we are denying the body, it doesn’t mean we are trying to kill it. Only keep it under control. The pleasure we get from these things is incidental and not something we should feel guilty or bad about. Jesus told the disciples to let the children come to him. Even though he was fasting all day and praying all night, He still took pleasure from having children around Him.

Doing things like going out to dinner or playing sports, or what have you, simply for the reason that you enjoy them, is a perfectly good reason to do them! God never says we can’t have fun and enjoy ourselves – He only says that we can’t love the pleasure of our dinners out and our tv shows and our leisure time more than Him.

“Denying ourselves” is just that – practicing occasional acts of sacrifice and mortification to keep ourselves in line and keep our priorities straight. But so long as we understand that God is greater than the pleasures of this world, if you feel like eating out at a nice restaurant just for kicks, go for it!

Maybe that’s my problem … when I’m speaking of a romantic dinner, I’m talking about spending time together moreso than going out (although we do enjoy doing that). I truly enjoy spending time with my wife, sometime contemplating life and God, sometimes being silly and playful, sometimes sitting close and relaxing. It is one of the biggest joys of my life, and my intention certainly isn’t self-denial. I don’t want to go out to “stuff myself with good food”, but I truly enjoy good food as well. Of course, at times there are obligations that we have to do that prevent us from doing this, and maybe doing those when they come up are the denial requested.

As far as sports, I grew up playing golf competitively at a collegiate level, and still compete occassionally. I get up several times a week to walk a round at sunrise before I get to work about 8:00 AM. I find it great time to think and pray, as well as improve my game and get exercise. I do do this for exercise, but I also do it because I enjoy it. I’m grateful I have the opportunity based on where I now live, and I don’t take it for granted, and know it may not always be the case. If I wanted self denial, I would run for my exercise, which I hate. I also play at that time because I don’t want to spend time away from my family very often, and only plan to play regularly on weekends when my kids are old enough to play with me or grown. Once again, of course if God told me, DON"T GOLF, or DON’T WATCH THE CUBS (I wish he could have given me that advice long ago :wink: ) I wouldn’t, but these are the parts of my life I do enjoy, and it’s certainly not self denial.

As far as my son, he’s 2 right now and loves everything, we teach him to pray before bed, although he’s normally thankful for silly things, that is what he’s thankful for at this age. He is just so wonderful, and I know I need to spend time with him. We are good about teaching him to share and believe in discipline, but I also feel it’s good for him to be free and imaginative. I guess my fear with him, is consistent with my fears above about me. If he’s encouraged to enjoy time with family and laugh and enjoy games and sports, he won’t be self denying either, or will like his life too much.

I think some others have answered it well, that there will always be times when standing up for Jesus, or essentially what is right and true, will lead to percecution or losing your life, and be ready to do it when called. Evaluate the pleasures of your life, and make sure they are not taking away from God, Family and neighbor. Essentially, don’t put any trust or value in them, becasue who knows what tomorrow will bring, but be ready to act in love at all times.

Ab,It sounds like to me you are still on your way in this life and so far you have not been delt too many heavy blows if any.
Give it time, and stay close to God and the grace he provides throught his Church with a strong prayer life…when the arrows start flying,and they not doubt will, sooner or later, you will be able to cope just fine. Don’t worrry so much about the good clean pleasure God provides for you and your little family, you are blessed .Just look around you. God Bless you and yours with peace, :)Carlan

Oh, my parents were divorced in high school and both had addictions, I was t very popular and my mom unfortunately passed away an alcoholic about 9 years ago. I certainly k ow there is pain in the world and evil. I know there will be problems beyond our control from the world, and when you live to the fullest potential, many will not like it.

At the same time, I have been blessed with a loving family and professional success, etc beyond what I deserve. In part it’s because of the pain, I truly appreciate what I have and know it’s not a given.

I like the every season analysis

Remember Jesus was accused by His enemies of being a drunkard and a glutton - hardly would’ve been possible if He hadn’t been one of those who enjoy the good things of life (in moderation, of course).

Remember the miracle of Cana? He provided 120 GALLONS of wine - to a bunch of guests who’d doubtless already had plenty to drink (hence the wine running out). And not just any cheap plonk but good quality wine, as the host commented. To what purpose but, among others, for the enjoyment of the guests?

And He talked movingly of the glory of the flowers of the field, that don’t toil or spin and aren’t miserable or ugly. They exist purely for pleasure - ours and God’s. What good parent doesn’t like to see their child enjoy themselves? Again, within moderation, not in a way that harms them.

Sounds to me like Jesus enjoyed life’s pleasures, and that it is fine for us to do the same. After all, He said to His Apostles ‘I have come that your joy may be complete’. Not ‘I have come so that you may be utterly miserable every second and never ever do anything enjoyable’.

I agree with this and this is normally what I tell myself. Maybe it is some of the past pains of not having much and my family falling apart that makes me guilty. While I’m sure there could be some call from God to deeper relationship and action, I also could see some of it coming from the devil saying essentially God doesn’t want you to be happy.

Ab, please forgive me, I should know better to conclude a persons situation , without knowing their lifes circumstances,:frowning: I pray for God’s healing love in your life always, Peace, Carlan

No problem. I certainly have guilt that life has been too easy despite these things, since they were mostly just bad things that happened, not persecution, although I have had some of that.

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