July 8, 2012

Dying to Self

I was struck by today's Epistle in the TLM, Romans 6:3-11.  If you ever feel like your world is constantly crumbling around you, these are the readings for you.... because they are the readings for me!  There is a reason why we lose our joy or don't have true joy.  And it can be summarized in one sentence:  I have not yet truly died to myself.  

If you have the beautiful book every-Catholic-should-have-on-his-shelf, Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, today's commentary is #231 "The Compassion of Jesus".  In the words of Fr. Gabriel, "How does it happen that we are always falling? Why are we always so miserable?  A more attentive reading of the Epistle will reveal the reason:  because we are not yet wholly 'dead' with Christ, because the 'old man' in us has not yet been 'crucified' to the point of our no longer being 'slaves of sin'."  St. Louis de Montfort speaks eloquently regarding the very opposite of being 'slaves of sin' that is being 'slaves of love'.  However, we must first die to ourself in order to truly love.  "Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remains alone. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life eternal." John 12:24-25

[It was at this point that I lost the entire rest of my post!  I hope that isn't a sign from Heaven...]

It is in the Gospel Mark 8: 1-9 that we find our answer, "I have compassion on the multitude".  He sees our weaknesses, He sees our weariness, He sees our helplessness, He sees our instabilities and He nourishes us.  In Biblical Times, He multiplied the loaves and fishes, but for us, greater yet, He nourishes us with His Body and Blood.  From Divine Intimacy we read, "How many times have we too seen miracles of grace and the wonders of Divine Providence! And yet, when we are placed in new, bewildering, or difficult circumstances, how often we remain hesitant; it seems as if we doubted God's almighty power.  Let us think, for example, of our spiritual life:  there are still things to be overcome or surmounted... we have tried so many times, and perhaps we no longer have the courage to begin again.  Oh! if our faith were only greater, if we would only cast ourselves upon God with more confidence! One good act of total abandonment might be all we need to win the victory!"

St. Theresa of Avila had the key, she would take the most menial tasks of the house and in those things find her joy through her death to self.  Methinks I'll start in the boys' bathroom... How about you?

"Have courage, and let your heart be strengthened, all you that hope in the Lord." (Ps 30)


  1. Hi Julie... I've been reading your blog for a while as I've found it via Lady Modesty. I enjoy it. I read the same readings this a.m. at Mass and Divine Intimacy as well! Thanks for the post as I am with you on your comments! I admire your constancy and perseverence. Thank you for urging us on. I need it. God Bless, Lisa (originally from Wi, now in AR)

  2. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. Lady Modesty is a gem! She's a real-life friend of mine!