Crucified with Christ
4 August 2010
Then he endeavoured to enter a society of monks and went to the monastery of Banchor. The abbot, the holy Comgall, renowned for his virtues, was a faithful father to his monks and was held in high esteem for the fervour of his faith and the order and discipline which he preserved. Here Columban gave himself entirely to fasting and prayer, to bearing the easy yoke of Christ, to mortifying the flesh, to taking the cross upon himself and following Christ.
- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
- Galatians 2.20
How I long to be able to say that: "It is not longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." It's true, in part, but certainly not entirely, not by a long shot. There is still much in me that needs to be trampled under the advancing feet of my heavenly King.
Doubtless we can all say the same. But we must not allow ourselves to become complacent: "Oh, well, what can you do?" We must discover precisely what to do in order to lay down more of our old life and be clothed anew with Jesus. We are called to this; it's where full and abundant life is to be found.
This being crucified with Jesus is full-time work. Even in the monastery at Bangor Columbanus knew struggles with his flesh, disagreements with his peers and colleagues, doubts and fears, frustrations and disappointments. And doubtless many of those could be traced to failings on his part. But he persevered, as we must persevere, ever seeking new ways of dying to the old person and being raised in the newness of Jesus Christ.
This is work for all our waking moments, for every situation in which we find ourselves, and for every aspect of our lives. Oh, to be able to say with Paul, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me"! Make this your aim and strive for it all your waking moments. Together we just may realize some progress, little by little, day by day.
Exercise for the Month: We'll be working on this all month long. This week begin making a list of all the people you meet, day-by-day. Start praying for them, using some of the promises of Scripture. Pray daily and throughout the day, asking the Lord to give you a heart to reach out to these people whom you encounter throughout your peregrinatio. All this week, just concentrate on prayer. Drop me a line and tell me how it's going.
Today in ReVision: Ethics - Remember ethics?
This Week's Download: Go get the Impact and Understanding of the Bible: A Questionnaire and start becoming familiar with it. We'll be using it a little later this month.