Thought for the Day – 21 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Let us examine carefully what is meant by this self-denial.
It makes two main demands on us.
Firstly, we must renounce all those lower impulses and desires, which besiege the soul (1 Peter 2:11).
This means, that we have to control and discipline our passions.
Since original sin has corrupted our nature, these passions must be restrained and conquered and then, directed towards good objects.
Our passions must be changed into virtues.
This is a hard task to accomplish for which we must employ, both natural and supernatural means.
But, we cannot stop at this task.
The second requirement will cost us even more!
We must renounce our own ego, our own will.
How can we do this?
We must no longer desire whatever is pleasing to us but whatever is pleasing to God.
Our will must cease, as it were, to belong to us, in order to become the will of God.
Is it the will of God, that we should be sick, or poor, or humiliated?
Thank God for it.
Does He desire to give us consolations or honours or success?
Thank Him for this too.
Desire nothing else but what He desires.
We are no longer ourselves.
Our will is completely absorbed in the will of God.
This is not a degradation of human nature – it is a sublimation.
Self-renunciation makes it possible for God to live and act in us.
Anyone who reaches this goal can say with St Paul: “It is now no longer I who live but Christ lives in me!” (Gal 2:20).”