Choosing The Cross
The heart is instinctively opposed
difficult choices it faces each day.
the more difficult and unpleasant option
for the benefit of Christ and one's
is to work against the heart's natural,
tendencies. This direction sets the
in motion on the road to freedom from
ingratitude, and unwillingness to do
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace
to the earth; I have not come to bring peace,
but a sword... Whoever does not take up the
cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.
Those who find their life will lose it, and
those who lose their life for My sake will
find it." (Matthew 10.34,38b-39)
The heart's natural tendency
Is to oppose the Lord's command;
The cross is the self's enemy --
The Lord waits, knocking, cross in
The heart can be trained to prefer
The cross over its selfishness;
To face the cross is to suffer
The loss of self and its excess.
Choose what the heart renounces first:
The difficult and unpleasant;
The troublesome and what seems worst
This leaves it dry and discontent.
Choose what the Lord wants for His
Strive for a heart emptied and free.
A thirst for the Lord will awake;
The cross will be embraced fully.
The heart that loses self succeeds;
And follows where'er the Lord leads.
"If you choose, you can keep the commandments,
and to act faithfully is a matter of your
own choice...Before each person are life
and death, and whichever one chooses will
be given. For great is the wisdom of the
Lord; He is mighty in power and sees everything;
His eyes are on those who fear him, and He
knows every human action. He has not commanded
anyone to be wicked, and He has not given
anyone permission to sin." (Sirach 15.15,17-20)
Lord, grant me the grace to oppose the selfish
tendancies of my heart, that I may embrace
the cross with joy in order to serve You
and my neighbor. Amen.
(c) Paul Buis, 2009