… living sacrifice

So last night at Evening Prayer, the reading was from Romans 12. Every time I read that text, or hear it read, I think I should reflect on it more. Especially I was struck by verse 2 – don’t copy (as the NLT translates) the world. I think if there is a text that is foundational to my understanding of anchoritic life, it must be Romans 12:1-2:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

When I have time (how ironic is that!) I will look up the Greek words used for “sacrifice” and “acceptable”.

As I was reading a book about the Heart of Jesus, I was struck by a quote from Mary of the Divine Heart:

I began to understand that without the spirit of sacrifice, the love of the Heart of Jesus is merely an illusion.

Mary of the Divine Heart

Ok, right! Starting to get it, I think. And at the end of Mass today (as always), I said this prayer:

Father, we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Lord. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.

APBA, 144

So love for Jesus and the spirit of sacrifice – of love that surrenders all for the other – are intimately connected. So now I need to be honest and ask: what about me? Do I live the life of sacrifice? Do I live a life of love for Jesus? Where am I failing?

So one last quote from Kierkegaard:

No, the test in which this woman is tried is: to love her Savior more than her sin.

Discourses at the Communion on Fridays

Heart of Jesus, I trust in you!

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