seems to want to follow Christ but without denying themselves and
carrying their cross. Christ clearly said: "Deny yourself, take
up your cross and follow Me."
in most religious orders, the invitation to join them is an
invitation to follow Christ but without mentioning to "deny
oneself and take up one's cross."
is because there is some pride in being a follower of Christ but no
fun in denying oneself and carrying one's cross. Yet to deny oneself
is the first step without which no one can follow Christ.
deny oneself means a complete detachment from the things of this
world. The things of this world in themselves are good because God
created all things good. It is the attachment to these things that
is evil. Because if you are attached to the world you will always
choose these over God. Didn't Eve choose a fruit over God? Or, more
exactly, because of her attachment to a desire that is not God, she
chose her will over God's will. She did not deny herself.
deny oneself means not to gratify the desires of the flesh and its
demands for pleasure and comfort. When you make the things of the
world and the comforts of the body your goal in life, you make
yourself a slave of these things. By being detached, you become the
master, thus treating these with indifference, using them for the
attainment of a desired end...one's salvation.