School of Self-Sacrifice

posted Feb 21, 2010, 1:03 PM by Theresa Orozco   [ updated Mar 29, 2010, 4:40 AM ]
Thursday, February 18, 2010

As I get older, it seems to me that what’s physically inside needs a lot more outside props: eyes need eyeglasses, ears need hearing aids, the skeleton inside the skin needs to be braced outside the skin.

In the spiritual life, however, the opposite seems true: what was externally a matter of rules becomes internalized in a way that leads one to the love that is the source of life in the Spirit. The rules governing the discipline of Lent are cases in point. The Lord tells us to pray, fast and give alms; and the Church’s rules enjoin these practices. Over the years, however, one learns that what one does to give one’s time to prayer and to give one’s body to fasting and to give one’s earnings to charity creates a school of self-sacrifice, which is another word for love. The external practices prepare one to love God and others internally.

- Francis Cardinal George, OMI

Archbishop of Chicago