Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Cross

I am becoming a fan of St. John Cassian. I offer the following selection from Day By Day With The Early Church Fathers, entitled Our Cross as a reason why:

The fear of the Lord is our cross. Those who are crucified no longer have the power to move or turn their limbs in any direction they please. Similarly, we shouldn't fix our wishes and desires on what pleases and delights us now, but according to how the Law of the Lord constrains us. Those who are fastened to the wood of the cross no longer consider present things or think about their preferences. They aren't distracted by anxiety and care for tomorrow and aren't disturbed by the desire for any possession. They aren't inflamed by pride, strife, or rivalry. They don't grieve during present pain and don't remember past injuries. For while they are still breathing in the body, they consider themselves dead to every earthly thing. Instead, they send the thoughts of their heart ahead to where they know they will shortly follow. So when we are crucified by fear of the Lord, we should definitely be dead to all these things. That is, we shouldn't only die to wickedness, but also to every earthly thing. We should fix the eye of our minds onto the place we constantly hope to reach. For in this way we can destroy all our desires and fleshly affections.

Taken from Institutes 4.35

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