The title of today's blog is a quote from Evagrios the Solitaire. It lines up nicely with the quote Mother Maria echoes from Jesus' very lips.
This renouncing all has plagued Christians and Christianity since it fell out of our Savior's mouth. And, I am pretty sure that it was meant to do just that.
Approaching the Gospels without being stirred up seems to be an oxymoron. We are meant to be challenged and offended, I believe. It is meant to rile us up to the point of change.
Saint Jerome - and other desert fathers and mothers - wrestled with this notion of giving up everything to the point of literally giving up everything. I believe Saint Jerome's line goes something like this, "I gave up everything I owned - even the book that told me to give up everything I own." A myriad of other Saints throughout the ages have likewise been attributed with uttering these very words.
It is a central issue of the Gospels.
Wrestle with it forever.
"The only soul who can claim that grace is a FREE gift of God is the soul who has given up everything to follow after Christ." Dietrich Bonhoffer, The Cost of Discipleship