We are all called to die. As soon as we were conceived, our time here on earth began its countdown. Pretty scary, huh? As a Catholic, I shouldn’t be afraid to die, but there is more to death than just our mortality. Everyday we are called to put to death what makes us worldly, so that our goal of becoming one with God becomes clearer and closer.
So much of myself that needs to die has a root cause: too much pride. St. Augustine would pray, “Lord, let me know Thee and know myself, that I may love Thee and hate myself.” This world has taught me too many ways to protect myself. If something went wrong, I dealt with it. Being vulnerable just wasn’t me. Everything was so internalized that it had ruined relationships, my activities, and most importantly, the way I thought of myself. My pride wouldn’t allow me to see who I really was: a son, a brother, a friend. Pride had blinded me to the fact that I am lost.
When I came to Covecrest, my pride had me believe certain things about myself and who I was. I thought I had everything together. Sure, I might not be as spiritual as everyone here, but everything else was good. God sure put an end to that feeling. He has shown me humility every single day: from two missionaries helping me figure things out with the sound equipment to accidentally stabbing myself with a machete during a work project. Because I thought that way for so long, I had lost my identity, but almost four months ago, God decided it was time to start searching, to start digging. The Lord put someone in my life who wouldn’t stop excavating until he found my roots. The only man Chuck Norris fears. That man is my discipler: the one and only Michael Barry. As my discipler, he will journey with me for my formation year, helping me to grow and to discover who I am as a missionary. God has worked through Michael to help me find who He, God, wants me to be. With the help of Michael during this formation year, I have been pushed to my limits, my vulnerability has been tested, and my pride has constantly been put aside. In short, I have been constantly challenged to die to myself (to let go of my own desires and embrace God’s will).
The journey of dying to the worldly, of dying to oneself is just that: a journey. The road is long and narrow. Sometimes you cross rivers, mountains, and even deserts. On this journey, you may begin to walk it alone, but when alone is all you’ve known and you can’t walk anymore, God puts someone on your path to journey with you, to let you know that HE is there, to remind you that this path will lead you to something greater. I am still on this journey today. I have walked this path before, and I will enjoy the company God has put into my life. I WILL DIE TO MYSELF. Will you?