Excerpt About Renunciation

True Renunciation

Material needs do need to be satisfied to some extent, because we need to survive, we need to have some kind of comfort in our life so that we can discover what true life is. Life is for realization, not the other way around. We don’t have spiritual realization so that we can have better relationships or better jobs. We don’t have spiritual realization so that we will have more or better friends, or be more successful in life. Spiritual realization is something deeper, and what Christ is saying is that if we want to follow him, it should be the center of our life. And those things—the instincts, the instinctual self—must follow the truth. To sacrifice one’s life, to carry the cross, means that if it happens that your sexual, social, or preservation needs seem to be in conflict with the truth, or in competition with it, the choice should be obvious: You must abandon those needs, not just once in a while, but with consistency, daily, always. This is what true renunciation means. You do not give up the self so that you will become saintly, or so you will become good, or so that God will reward you. You will probably not be canonized. It’s more that you are choosing that the truth is important to you, that reality is important to you, that the essential life is important to you, that God is important for you. You are making a choice and doing the practical things to support that choice. It’s as simple as that.

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