June 16, 2024
Reflections By Rev. Fr. David Okolie



Dearest friends, it is very true that: A CROSS-LESS Christianity/lifestyle (i.e the one that seeks only for pleasure and comfort) CANNOT lead to HEAVEN.

Jesus himself said this: โ€œIf anyone is willing to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his CROSS, and follow me” (cf. Matt 16:24).

๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸผWhen we talk about the CROSS we mean the daily challenges, difficulties, sorrows, attacks, hardships, renunciations of sinful lifestyles, etc. which a Christian faces in his/her everyday life.

Have you ever wondered why the symbol of Christianity is the CROSS? Thus, CRUCIFIX is set at the centre of every church or place of worship. And on Good Friday, there is a universal veneration of the CRUCIFIX (i.e the Cross with the crucified Jesus on it). If Jesus had not accepted death on the Cross, we would have been left in our MISERY. The centrality of the CROSS in the life of every Christian is further affirmed by the Catechism thus:

The way of perfection passes by way of the CROSS. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudesย (cf. CCC n. 2015).

The above explains why Jesus himself accepted to save us through the painful WAY of the CROSS. His Blessed mother, the Virgin Mary, followed the same WAY of the Cross, expressed concretely in her SEVEN SORROWS;ย the height of which being when she carried the corpse of her only child, Jesus Christ in her own hands; the Apostles and all the other Saints passed through the same Way of the Cross.

Therefore, beloved friends, be careful of the so called false preachers, ministers and prophets, who sell CROSS-LESS Christianity to you; promising you heaven on earth. They are simply after telling you what you want to hear in order to keep making their money from your vulnerability (cf. 2 Tim 4:3-5).

Indeed, if there are other ways to heaven outside the WAY of the CROSS, Jesus would have shown that to his blessed MOTHER and to all of us. Thus, St. Rose of Lima affirms: โ€œApart from the CROSS there is no other ladder by which we may get to HEAVEN” (cf. CCC n. 618).

O Mary, laden with sorrows, pray for us๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Remain blessed๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Rev. Fr. David Okolie is a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe, Imo State, Nigeria. He is a prolific writer, retreat preacher and social media evangelizer.

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