Sunday, March 13, 2011

Self- Renunciation, Part I

(Lent is about humbling one's self and taking on the nature of Christ. Each Sunday during this time I will let wise Christians speak on these subjects, the first 3 weeks about self-renunciation and the next 3 weeks on spiritual formation. On Easter the subject will be the resurrection of Christ.)

First Sunday of Lent

"A sickly self-love, full of pity for itself, cannot be touched without screaming. Touch it with the end of your finger and it thinks itself flayed alive. Then add to this sensitiveness the roughness of other people, full of imperfections unknown to themselves, their disgust at our defects (at least as great as ours toward theirs), and you find all the children of Adam tormenting one another: Half of mankind made unhappy by the other half, and rendering them miserable in their turn.

"The only remedy is to come out of one's self in order to find peace. We must renounce ourselves and lose all self-interest that we may no longer have anything to lose, to fear, or to contrive. Then we shall enjoy the true peace reserved for "men of good will," that is for those who have no longer any will but God's, which becomes theirs. Then men will not be able to harm us, they can no longer attack us through our hopes or our fears. Then we are willing to accept everything, and we refuse nothing."

-- Archbishop Francois Fenelon, Spiritual Letters

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