"Then Jesus called the crowd and his followers to him. He said, 'Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me.'"
(Gospel of Mark chapter 8 verse 34 ERV)
Lent is about humbling one's self, turning from our sin, and taking on the nature of Christ. Each Sunday during this time I'm asking wise followers of Christ speak on these subjects. Last week we heard from King David. Today's guest blogger is François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon, a French Archbishop from 300 years ago who has some excellent advice on achieving our goals during this season.
A sickly self-love, full of pity for itself, cannot be touched without screaming. Touch it with the end of your finger and it thinks itself flayed alive. Then add to this sensitiveness the roughness of other people, full of imperfections unknown to themselves, their disgust at our defects (at least as great as ours toward theirs), and you find all the children of Adam tormenting one another: Half of mankind made unhappy by the other half, and rendering them miserable in their turn.
The only remedy is to come out of one's self in order to find peace. We must renounce ourselves and lose all self-interest that we may no longer have anything to lose, to fear, or to contrive. Then we shall enjoy the true peace reserved for "men of good will," that is for those who have no longer any will but God's, which becomes theirs. Then men will not be able to harm us, they can no longer attack us through our hopes or our fears. Then we are willing to accept everything, and we refuse nothing.
(Francois Fenelon, Spiritual Letters)