Lent with Bossuet: Meditations on the Gospel (9)

March 20, 2020
Source: fsspx.news
“The Crowning with Thorns” (1602-1604) - Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio.

Jesus Christ Is the Grain of Wheat

Jesus points it out to us Himself. He who loves his life, He says, will lose it. (John 12:25) To love it, is to lose it. To seek to satisfy it, is to lose it. It is necessary that it lose all, and that it lose itself, that it hate itself, that it refuse everything, if it wishes to keep itself for eternal life.

Every time something flattering presents itself to us, let us dwell upon these words: “He who loves his life will lose it.” Every time that something difficult presents itself, let us reflect: “To hate one's life is to save it.” Reject, therefore, all that flatters us. Leave it as a complete loss.

Let us understand the force of this word, hate. If the things of this world and of this life were merely vile and valueless, it would be sufficient to despise them. If they were only useless, it would be sufficient to set them aside, and if it were sufficient to give the preference to the Saviour, He would have contented Himself by saying, as He does elsewhere: “If he loveth these things more than me he is not worthy of me” (Mt. 10:37). To show us that these things are harmful, however, He uses the word hate. From that point of view we should hate all things, insofar as they can be opposed to our salvation.

Let us consider again the courage that Christianity demands: to renounce all, to cast all aside. This life is but a tempest, and the vessel must be released, no matter what the cost, for what is the use of saving all, if we ourselves must perish?