5th October

Today I had another 2 weekly clinic. My neutrophils which measure the strength of the immune system were 3.6, anything above 2 is in the GREEN/GRAND zone. I also had the monthly bone-strengthening medicine called Zometa.

This is a recent reflection from Premier Christian Media and Dr Micha Jazz. It is based on oneboy-and-cross-of-jesus-e1455551373405 of my favourite verses of St Paul “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3). It was part of the second reading I chose for my first Mass after ordination.

[The article begins with this quote] ‘…in our age the temptation to presumption besets many…They try to do good of themselves in order that they might stand before God clothed in their own virtues and merits. But this is impossible…’

Central to [a proper] approach to the Christian life [is] the reality of dying with Christ. This understanding informs the life choices of a Christian and ensures that Christ isn’t pushed to the periphery of personal Christian experience. So, what is dying with Christ all about?

Dying is literally surrendering every last vestige of control to God. It seems unnatural and irresponsible since I was educated to take responsibility, to problem-solve and to make good things happen. My working life had required me to turn bad situations around. I had seen myself perhaps as rescuing people from sin and themselves. I was centre stage, God pushed to the edges. I depended upon my knowledge and my experience. I honed my skills to become better at what I already did.

Where we need to die and how we die are specific to each one of us. There isn’t a generic process to which each of us might subscribe. God carves a path along which we are invited to walk our personal life in a specific hope and expectation: that we shall come to an end of “ourselves” and quite literally embrace the purpose of the cross, death to self. Hence comparison with the life of another offers nothing more than perhaps increased pain and bitterness. Where once I maintained a faith as a series of rules I must obey, I discovered that Christ was a way of living. This was gifted to me the more I died and stepped aside from directing my own life’s direction. My path, unique to me, is to enable me to bring Christ centre stage in my daily walk of faith. Not something that comes by instinct, only be deliberate choice and often at considerable cost.

QUESTION: Are you actively choosing to die with Christ and invite Jesus to move from the periphery of your life and experience to its centre?

PRAYER: Lord, may Paul’s desire that ‘to live is Christ’ (Philippians 1:21, NIV) be true of me.