To deny oneself is so contrary to
human nature. That is why it is difficult. But, just like any other
command of Christ, obedience to it guarantees Christ's assistance.
So, it really is easy.
In everyday life, it is observable
that, when we like what we are doing, we are capable of great
things; the mountain climber, the sea adventurer, the lovers of
money, will undergo great inconveniences to attain their goals. But,
of course, we are the kind of person by what we love.
So, let's carefully choose what we
love. If we choose to love God, then we become divine.
We must choose to love Christ
because from Him comes happiness, perfect peace and lasting
security. The road to holiness seems rough, but it only
"seems" so. With His promised help, it becomes very easy.
The way is indeed narrow, but, with His help, it becomes wide. It is
hard but, with His help, it becomes easy. The road to evil, on the
other hand, seems easy; but, in truth, it is difficult.
To be exalted is every man's
desire; so be it. But do it the Christian way: deny yourself. The
Zebedees wanted to be exalted: "Lord, let me sit on your right.
. ." they wanted to be exalted without having to deny
themselves. Christ gives the condition: "Can you drink the cup.
. ." a life of self-denial and suffering and martyrdom.
Christ's command: "To deny
oneself, take up one's cross and follow Me" is a command to be
martyrs. "Once you follow Me, by conforming your lives to My
commandments, many will contradict you, forbid you and dissuade you
from obeying My commands. And these persecutions can be so violent
and end up in martyrdom: ". . .and follow me."