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What Does It Mean To Follow The Crucified One?

August 2, 2011

I heard this amazing reflection that Pope Benedict XVI wrote in a book that was spoken by Leonardo Defilippis on EWTN Radio yesterday on their commercial and it moved me to think about this.  This man who made the movie John of the Cross and Therese and the Vianney Drama; God gave him a wonderful gift of making the words of saints and Popes come alive. 

So, what does it mean to follow Our Crucified Lord?  Does it mean we take His gift for us and only live it on Sundays, Holy Days and First Fridays and a few First Saturdays and not in our work place?

No, it is so much more than that.  It truly means living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  What did Jesus tell us to do?  Deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.  What does that even mean?

If it is God’s will to help me remember what I heard, I shall try to tell you.

 

Let us look at deny ourselves:

We deny our own ego and as St. John the Baptist said, “I must decrease and He must increase.”  We are no longer to walk ahead of Christ but behind Him and follow Him as the Apostles did for those three years and beyond.  He is the one who guides us along the path to Heaven; not ourselves; because we would get lost and end up on the road to Gehenna or hell. 

We must rid ourselves of our prideful ways and arrogant ways to be able to follow Him completely and we do not do this alone; because if we did; we would fail.  I, and everyone must go to Him in prayer and ask Him most humbly to help remove the pride and arrogance from my person. 

We must enter a night or many nights of deep contemplation that St. John of the Cross talks about in the prologue of Ascent to Mount Carmel; where God will lead the soul into “dark contemplation and dryness.”  What will that do?  It will clean the senses of all the flith we have gathered over the years so it will be able to have God as our dwelling place in our soul; rather than some worldly idol.

In my studies I learned that the demons can enter into us by the senses and we must cleanse and shut off those senses to the evil one and only allow God to enter; so He may lead us as we follow Him. 

To learn what Contemplation is: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04324b.htm

 

To follow Him, we ourselves must be willing to follow Him through all the trials and sufferings that come with following Our Crucified Lord but also the Divine Joy that comes with it too.  To follow Him, means we must be willing to suffer for Him and carry His cross. 

 

To Take Up Our Cross:

 

To take up our cross. means we are on a spiritual road to Calvary or as St. Paul puts it: “a race we run to the finish.”  No one can just go and run a race; because most likely that person would fall over in pain from not being trained properly.  We on the other hands, must not train our body but our soul with the help of God says St. Francis.  He called the body: “brother ass” 

He removed his eyes, so they wouldn’t cause him to sin by taking a hot iron rod a blacksmith would use and touch it to his right eye to left eye.  He did this many times to make sure he could not see. 

I am not saying we do that to ourselves; but we almost need to be blinded when we go out into the world; so many billboards that cause us to lust, so many people walking around dressed immodestly that cause us to lust.  So many horrible shows on tv and tv personalities not dressed properly, bad music, bad radio shows, people acting ungodly like. 

We need to train our souls with the help of God; meaning have God help us train our souls to remain pure and help us to become saints.  In carrying our cross we deal with burdens, potholes we walk into, thorns on the road; if we were walking by ourself with our cross; we would be finished but we are walking with God.  We must come to know God personally; we must be able to say through the Holy Spirit and finally call God: Abba/Father. 

In the race we are running, we may have people we call our friends who are not helping us on the road to joining God in Divine Perfection and Union by becoming a saint; these people may tempt us and try to do ungodly things with them; we must keep our eyes focused on God alone and no where or no one else.  We must keep running and carrying our Cross.  Yes, we may stumble but God will help us get back up and cleaned up in the Sacrament of Confession; He will strengthen us when we receive His Body and Blood in Holy Communion and His Mother and our Mother will keep us going by praying the Rosary devoutly as we are to pray it. 

We are to follow in the foot steps of the saints and of Jesus Himself; because we are following Him and walking behind Him as He guides us through these trials and tribulations which only His closest friends go through and by His help, we will reach the Kingdom of God.

Amen

 

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