Thursday, November 17, 2011

Losing Your Life for Christ

On November 14, 2011, we celebrated the feast of All Benedictine Souls. Below is a reflection on the Gospel reading for that feast (Mt 16: 24-28), given to the nuns of the Abbey, by Mother Maria- Michael Newe, OSB.

In the Gospel today when we heard “He who loses his life for my sake will find it,” I thought, “Well, how do you lose your life?” I know when I lose something, it’s basically because I’m not paying attention to it. I’m not keeping my focus on it-- something else has caught my focus. Something greater has caught my attention.

Christ must be greater. He must catch our attention, to the point where, we’re not worried about ourselves. I’m not looking for my glory; I’m looking for his. Even my faults give Him glory because of His mercy. His mercy is His greatest attribute. He owes us nothing, absolutely nothing. And we owe him everything; we are his subjects. What a gift from the King: He will take care of all things if we are focused on him.

I was wondering as I mentally went through the list of the sisters who are now buried in our cemetery: what would be the advice of each one of them? What would they want to tell me before I join them? What would they say, in order to bring to perfection this monastic life? I think it would be, “Lose yourself. Immerse yourself in the life of God—in the light of God. His life will become your life.” That’s the key. When you’re married, you’re one, and if you really live as one you will love what that person loves, and do all things for the good of the other person. And in return, the other person does it for you. But in our life: everything for Christ, for His glory. Thus, we have nothing to worry about... but that takes trust.

I will finish here with a quote from The Words of Life by Bl. Columba Marmion:

“ He who gives himself to God renounces everything. He comes to God with all that he has, all that he is. “Behold, I come.” And he offers all this to God, keeping nothing back. This is what it means to be a living sacrifice, to offer a holocaust. This tradition we make of everything in the joyful simplicity of our love, is extremely pleasing to God, because it has the true character of a holocaust which, according to St Thomas, consists in offering to God all that we have. By this immolation we acknowledge that God is the first principle of all things. We lay down at His feet all that we have received from Him. We offer ourselves up entirely in order that all that we are and all that we have may return to Him.
Oh God, infinite being, who art very beatitude, what an immense and inestimable grace thou dost give to thy poor creatures in calling them to be, with the Son of thy love, acceptable sacrifices, holy consecrated to the glory of thy majesty... This is the perfection of the virtue of the poverty of life. It is perfect hope to have lost all created joy and to lean on God alone. Let us try to love our dear savior with all our heart, for all is in that. The days, months, and years succeed one another, and nothing remains but God, and what we do for Him.”

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