He must increase, I must decrease…

Personal love for Jesus demands an equal measure of self-disregard. John the Baptist proclaimed: “He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30). So, as the inner self becomes more powerful, the outer self loses its total control over our lives. “The external self is fading away but our inner [self] is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). No one can exist in an affective void; the only force that can bring calm to the chaos of conflicting loves is a love that outclasses them all. It is a matter of fighting fire with the fieriest fire of all. When the love of Jesus draws forth the best in us the lower appetites go into recession. It is not that we conquer them; they simply lose their capacity to charm us. We lose interest in what hitherto enchanted us. Of course the conversion is never absolute; there is always plenty of scope for backsliding. But there is a discernible direction in life that leads away from self-centeredness.”

– Michael Casey, Monk of Tarrawarra from his book Strangers to the City

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