To deny one’s own self in order to follow Christ. (Rule of Benedict 4.10; cf Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23)
We make choices every day. What to eat? To say to combative colleagues? Dare I try something new? If the choices are real, we are attached to each possibility. They are little parts of our identity, of who we are. Making any authentic choice means denying one version of my “self” in favor of another.
When St.Benedict quotes Jesus, he gives us as a tool for choosing well. To use it, we must be aware that we are choosing. Then we can choose the self that is growing into the fullness of Christ, and leave all the smaller ones behind.
Tooling Through Lent is a series of brief reflections on Chapter 4 of the Rule of Benedict, The Tools for Good Works.