Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
Mark 8: 34-35
Taking up the cross daily is a metaphor for the internal spiritual process. The path of death involves the death of the heart centered in the finite and the birth of a heart centered on the ways of God. It can be either described as a dying to the world or a dying to the self. The person dies to the world as a center of security and to the self as a center of concern. From this death emerges a new heart a pure heart centered in God.
Adapted from Marcus Borg
Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Examine your own centers of security and concern. How do they square with the gospel call?
“Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do. ”He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”
Mark 8: 33-38
Jesus is not a figure from the past: He continues now and always to light the way for us.
Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world.Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.
Teresa of Avila
We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.
Clare of Assisi
Those who aren’t following Jesus aren’t his followers. Its that simple. Followers follow, and those who don’t follow aren’t followers. To follow Jesus means to follow Jesus into a society where justice rules, where love shapes everything. To follow Jesus means to take up his dream and work for it.
If I am to wholly follow the Lord Jesus Christ, I must forsake everything that is contrary to Him.
Aiden Wilson Tozer
We should never let material things get ahead of God or become so important in our lives that we can’t walk away from them. Anything you own that has a hold on you is a problem.
I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious, you better not get cluttered up with too many material things.
The territorialism and desire to possess things comes directly from the ego, which strives to own and control things. Your spirit already knows you own nothing. It is a matter of realizing that your happiness does not depend on your ownership of things. They help you in your journey but they are not the journey itself.