ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dying to Grow

Updated on August 30, 2020

“The one misery of our life is self-will, the one secret of blessedness is the conquest over our own wills. The true source of all that frets and irritates, and wears away our lives, is not in external things, but in the resistance of our wills to the will of God.” ~ Alexander MacLaren

You duped me, O Lord.” These are the blunt opening words uttered by the prophet Jeremiah in today’s 1st Reading (Jer 20:7-9), wherein the weeping prophet partakes of a little bit of “divine venting ~ not necessarily a bad thing by the way https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Divine-Venting. Yet it’s his closing words that reflect the true sentiments of his soul; the depth of his wisdom too.

“I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.“ The truth was written on Jeremiah’s heart ~ ours too ~ and we’re reminded of that innate longing each and every one of us has to be in divine harmony with God. Today we are reminded too that Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow him... only that it would be worth it (1 Corinthians 2:9).

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 16:21-27), Saint Peter once again takes center stage, this after Jesus anointed him “the Rock“ upon which He would build his Church in last Sunday’s Gospel https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Daily-Mass-Reflections-89. This week however Jesus rebukes Peter, going so far as to call him Satan, for being an obstacle to the fulfillment of Scriptural prophecy, Jesus’ very reason for entering the world by way of the spotless Virgin.

Jesus goes on to explain to his disciples that “whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” This teaching is a call to change. A call to growth. For many, growth and meaningful change is a frightening prospect. To some, it implies “losing something,” when in fact it’s quite the opposite. We must never forget, although at times we do, that Jesus as the Son of God could have at anytime called upon His Father to put an end to his torment, the constant rejection of His teachings, the scourging, the humiliation, the cross . . . His death. Had He done so however, He never would have freed us from sin and death; the doors of Paradise would indeed still be locked.

This is why we must embrace our crosses, never praying for a “cross-free” life (Spoiler Alert: ain’t happening anyway) and instead seek the divine grace we need to endure them, Those who repeatedly take that leap of faith know that God gives them the grace ~ each and every time ~ to not merely survive, but to thrive as we change and evolve through the cross. One need only turn to the man we memorialized yesterday, Saint John the Baptist https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Daily-Mass-Reflections-829.

“He must increase . . . I must decrease.” (John 3:30). If Jesus’ cross can conquer death, what might our crosses accomplish?

Growth only happens through dying, a literal dying to self. For as C.S. Lewis once said, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.“

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)