“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life with lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” Matthew 17:24-26
I know that I’ve written about this passage before, but it’s still super relevant. I’m leaving for the convent in 19 days. By choosing to follow Christ in this specific way I am denying myself. I won’t be able to talk to my friends or family whenever I want to anymore. I’ll only be drinking water. I won’t choose what I’m going to eat for dinner because another sister will be in charge of the kitchen. I won’t even get to choose what I do on a daily basis. I will live according to a specific schedule of prayer and work according to what is assigned to me. I will fast two days a week from food except for bread and from talking. I won’t have access to social media or the television. In many ways you could say that I am losing my life. I am giving up all of the things that I’ve ever known, the only way of living I’ve experienced.
It may seem really drastic and unnecessary. But there is a purpose. I’m giving up my life to point to a deeper reality, that this life isn’t about stuff. It’s not about us. It’s about the next life, Heaven. “In the Church, which is like the sacrament – the sign and instrument – of God’s own life, the consecrated life is seen as a special sign of the mystery of redemption.” CCC 932
Why do I care so much about this you might ask, so much that I’m willing to pretty much give up any kind of life that the world says is desirable or going to make me happy? Because I am crazy in love with Jesus and when you’re in love you do crazy things. My heart’s desire is to bring other people to know Jesus. Then they will know love itself, mercy, they will know truth, they will know the way, they will have life. Not just any life, not the life that the world says will satisfy, but real life, life in abundance. They will have peace. And if I can bring that to just one person by making this choice to give up everything then it will have been worth it. If I can bring just one person into a closer relationship with Christ, if I can point someone to the deeper truth that this life is about more than just the here and now, it will have been worth it all.
All I want is to do the will of the Father, to love Him, and to love His, and to help others to come to know Him because once you meet Him, really meet Him, your life will never be dull again, it will be extraordinary. As St. John Paul II said, “Discovering Christ, always again and always more fully, is the most wonderful adventure of our life.”