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Fasting the weapon in Augustine's Daily War

"But now the necessity of habit is sweet to me, and against this sweetness must I fight, lest I be enthralled by it. Thus I carry on a daily war by fasting, constantly bringing my body into subjection..." - St. Augustine

 

Pick Up Her Cross and Follow Me

By Steven C. Habisohn, e5 Founder


A UNIQUE CHALLENGE

As Jesus progressed on his mission he told his disciples of his future fate and murder at the hands of the elders. Peter tells Jesus to not go. Jesus responds to him by saying,

"Get behind me Satan. You do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men." Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, "If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the Gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mk 8:33-38)

Christ is clearly asking us to imitate him in picking up our cross, accepting the burdens of this life as part of divine providence regardless of the hand we are dealt. But dare we look, as men, even further into imitating Christ's acceptance of his cross? His cross was not his own. The cross His Father's providence brought him was the cross of his bride. Being an e5 man and fasting for our bride we imitate the Divine Bridegroom who has taken his bride?s cross upon himself.


OUR EXAMPLE - SIMON OF CYRENE

By our fasting we take on, in unison with Christ, that part of the cross that was our bride's to carry. We, like Simon of Cyrene, help Jesus carry the cross but specifically that part of the cross that is directly related to our bride. Just like when God?s providence allowed Simon of Cyrene to cooperate with Jesus in carrying the cross we too are allowed by merciful providence to help Jesus carry that cross for our brides. In doing so we tap into His infinite graces to heal our wives not only from their own sins but also from the sins of others, including ourselves. Not only do our brides receive healing but by conforming ourselves more to Christ we allow ourselves to be untwisted from sin as well.

Christ alludes in the scripture above that the generation that rejects the cross is an adulterous generation. He shows clearly that to not take up your cross is tantamount to breaking the wedding vows. Let us keep our vow to Christ and our brides and pick up our crosses that providence has placed on our shoulders.