May 5, 2009

Self Immolated, Not Self Involved

I love Peter Chrysologus in the Office of Readings today:

How marvelous is the priesthood of the Christian, for he is both the victim that is offered on his own behalf, and the priest who makes the offering. He does not need to go beyond himself to seek what he is to immolate to God: within himself and in himself he brings the sacrifice he is to offer to God for himself. The victim remains and the priest remains, always one and the same. Immolated, the victim still lives: the priest who immolates cannot kill. Truly it is an amazing sacrifice in which a body is offered without being slain and blood is offered without being shed.

Each Christian is anointed into the priesthood of Christ and offers self as sacrifice to God in Christ. This self-immolation is the gift of true freedom from the misery of self-involvement and the chasing after the illusory securities and the miserable pleasures of this world.

This is our escape from the miserable self-involvement of anxiety and depression as well as from the seemingly happy self-involvement of pride and power.

"I an age where there is much talk about 'being yourself' I reserve the right to forget about being myself..." --Thomas Merton, Day of a Stranger.

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