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Follow Me

Wednes­day. [Heb. 10:1–18; Mark 8:30–34] Hav­ing invit­ed peo­ple to fol­low Him with the cross, the Lord shows also shows this path, elimi-nating the main obsta­cles to it, which are not out­er, but inner, root-ed in the human heart. It is as though He is say­ing, “If you want to fol­low Me, first of all do not pity your­self, for he who pities him­self will destroy him­self; sec­ond, do not have any­thing to do with self-inter-est, for, What shall it prof­it a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Mark 8:38)? Third, do not be embar­rassed by what peo-ple will say or how they will look at you: Whoso­ev­er there­fore shall be a-shamed of Me and of My words, in this adul­ter­ous and sin­ful genera-tion, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glo­ry of His Father with the holy an-gels. Self-pity, self-inter­est, and em-barrassment are the main chains by which a per­son is held in a life not pleas­ing to God, on the path of pas-sions and sin. They are the main ob-stacles to a sin­ner’s con­ver­sion; they are the main object of spir­i­tu­al strug­gle in a per­son who repents and who already has begun to bring forth fruits of repen­tance. As long as these threads are not cut, the Chris­t­ian life in us is unre­li­able, full of stum­bles and falls, if not always out­er, then inner. Let every­one look atten­tive­ly at him­self; if there is any­thing in you of what is said a-bove, take care to give it up: other-wise you can not hope to rise to per-fection in Christ, although you may out­ward­ly be very proper.

Saint Theo­phan the recluse