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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana











Everyone 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."

Even 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."

This 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. 

To 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. 

To 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. 





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