Self Denial

And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

— St. Luke 9:23-24

We must deny all anxieties and fears. When young we must not mind what the world calls failure; as we grow old, we must be vexed that we cannot remember, must not regret that we cannot do, must not be miserable because we grow weak or ill: we must not mind anything. We have to do with God who can, not with ourselves where we cannot. He is our care; we are his; our care is to will his will; his care, to give us all things. This is to deny ourselves. “Self, you may be my consciousness, but you are not my being. If you were, what a poor miserable, weak wretch I should be! But my life is hid with Christ in God, whence it came, and whither it is returning—with you certainly, but as an obedient servant, not a master. For God is more to me than my consciousness of myself. He is my life; you are only so much of it as my poor half-made being can grasp. Because I have treated you as if you were indeed my own self, you have dwindled yourself and lessened me, till I am ashamed of myself. If I were to mind what you say, I should soon be sick of you. No! Let me have the company of the Perfect One, not of you! Of my elder brother, the Living one! Goodbye, self, I deny you, and will do my best every day to leave you behind me.”