“Perhaps some man will say, ‘how can a man carry his cross? How can a man who is alive be crucified?’ Hear, briefly, how this thing may be. …one who is crucified no longer has the power of moving or turning his limbs in any direction as he pleases, so we ought to fix our wishes and desires, not in accordance with what is pleasant and delightful to us now, but in accordance with the law of the Lord in whatsoever direction it constrain us. Also, he who is fastened to a cross no longer considers things present, nor thinks about his likings, nor is perplexed with anxiety or care for the morrow, [nor] is inflamed by any pride, or strife, or rivalry, grieves not at present insults, nor remembers past ones. While he is still breathing in the body, he is dead to all earthly things, and sends his heart on to that place to which he doubts not he shall shortly come. So we, when we are crucified by the fear of the Lord, ought to be dead to all these things. We die not only to carnal vices, but to all earthly things, even to those indifferent. We fix our minds there whither we hope at every moment we are to go.” James Hanney [quoting one of the desert fathers]
“Because of the (the cross of … Jesus Christ),
my interest in this world has been crucified,
and the worlds’ interest in me has also died.”
Moving From Head to Heart
- Imagine finding consolation for the very difficult circumstances of your life in the fact that you will soon be leaving this life for heaven.
- Now imagine that you intentionally created the difficult circumstances of your life (the desert hermits did) to escape the faith-wrecking pull of “earthly things” – and not only sinful ones.
- Does the Christianity you know encourage you to “be dead to all earthly things?” Has your “interest in this world … been crucified” in some measurable way?
- The one “fashioned to a cross”, among other things, “grieves not at present insults.” Many of the desert hermits were known for this (refusing to be moved by or to respond to insults) and for many others of the virtues mentioned. It seems like we take these matters so lightly compared to them. Why do you suppose that is?
Lord Jesus …Lead me into the crucified life …Lead me away from every lesser thing. (Brennan Manning)
For More: Wisdom of the Desert by James Hanney
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. Thanks! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)