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Crucified with Christ


Renun­ci­a­tion is noth­ing but the evi­dence of the cross and of mor­ti­fi­ca­tion. And so you must know that to-day you are dead to this world and its deeds and desires, and that, as the Apos­tle says, you are cru­ci­fied to this world and this world to you. Con­sid­er there­fore the demands of the cross under the sign of which you ought hence­for­ward to live in this life; because you no longer live but He lives in you who was cru­ci­fied for you. We must there­fore pass our time in this life in that fash­ion and form in which He was cru­ci­fied for us on the cross so that (as David says) pierc­ing our flesh with the fear of the Lord, we may have all our wish­es and desires not sub­servient to our own lusts but fas­tened to His mor­ti­fi­ca­tion. For so shall we ful­fil the com­mand of the Lord which says: “He that taketh not up his cross and fol­loweth me is not wor­thy of me.” But per­haps you will say: How can a man car­ry his cross con­tin­u­al­ly? or how can any one who is alive be cru­ci­fied? Hear briefly how this is. THE fear of the Lord is our cross. As then one who is cru­ci­fied no longer has the pow­er of mov­ing or turn­ing his limbs in any direc­tion as he pleas­es, so we also ought to affix our wish­es and desires—not in accor­dance with what is pleas­ant and delight­ful to us now, but in accor­dance with the law of the Lord, where it con­strains us. And as he who is fas­tened to the wood of the cross no longer con­sid­ers things present, nor thinks about his lik­ings, nor is per­plexed by anx­i­ety and care for the mor­row, nor dis­turbed by any desire of pos­ses­sion, nor inflamed by any pride or strife or rival­ry, grieves not at present injuries, remem­bers not past ones, and while he is still breath­ing in the body con­sid­ers that he is dead to all earth­ly things, send­ing the thoughts of his heart on before to that place whith­er he doubts not that he is short­ly to come: so we also, when cru­ci­fied by the fear of the Lord ought to be dead indeed to all these things, i.e. not only to car­nal vices but also to all earth­ly things, hav­ing the eye of our minds fixed there whith­er we hope at each moment that we are soon to pass. For in this way we can have all our desires and car­nal affec­tions mor­ti­fied. -Cass­ian

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