PODCAST | Fourth Week of Lent: The Four Steps of Mortification to Contemplate Christ
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In this podcast, as we continue our Lenten devotions, Fr. Eric Nicolai reflects on Jesus’ fasting in the desert for 40 days. Why did he do that? Because the desert didn’t offer him absolutely anything, so he relied entirely on his Father. He overcame the devil’s temptations. As soon as he left the desert, he began his ministry. The purpose of our mortification is not to become stoic and impervious to pain. The real purpose was outlined by St. Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2, 20).
For Christ to live in us, we have to go up the four steps:
First, corporal mortification: The most superficial one. It is for our purification. St, Josemaria said, “One has to give the body a little less than its due. Otherwise it turns traitor” (The Way, no. 196).
Second, care for little things: The purpose is not to become obsessive about order or having things in their place, but to acquire a spirit which allows us to reach out to others and make their life more agreeable.
Third, interior mortification: This area that purifies us from all that has to do with honor, with our good reputation, our attachment to what others think of us. And the whole world of our imagination.
Fourth, passive mortification: This is the most difficult. This is where the Lord comes to seek us out. “I will tell you which are man’s treasures on earth so that you will appreciate them: hunger, thirst, heat, cold, pain, dishonor, poverty, loneliness, betrayal, slander, prison…” (The Way, no. 194).