“For most of the people in the world, there is no greater subjective reality than this false self of theirs, which cannot exist.” – Thomas Merton
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Then Jesus said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?
The first followers of Jesus were known as “the Way” likely because Jesus taught a way of life.
He was showing his followers the path to becoming their true selves, to living an authentic life as a spiritual being in a human body.
Jesus had various sayings that got right to the heart of the matter, such as today’s teaching.
To deny yourself is to turn away from your false self, the construction concocted by your ego.
It’s not a bad self, it’s just not the self you were meant to be.
Our egos just want us to fit-in and belong in whatever setting we find ourselves, usually based on our parents’ or cultural or religious norms.
To take up your cross is to accept the daily struggles of life.
If you follow the way of Jesus by reaching out to help those in need, including those who are cast out, being a peacemaker, and by being a loving presence to everyone and everything, you will soon know the meaning of “taking up your cross.”
You will definitely meet resistance from those who like the status quo, who want to keep the advantage of power, possessions and prestige.
The paradox is, when you let go of all the ego-generated delusions and follow the way of Jesus, you start to find your true self.
You rise from the ashes of the ego-delusion and find your real life.
You live as a whole and complete person.
What could be more important than that?
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Remember: God loves you!