August 5, 2011 Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time. Gaining The World and Forfeiting Life

Scripture readings for today's Mass are here

Gospel Matthew 16 : 24-28

 "Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?

Or what can one give in exchange for his life?

For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.

Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

 Dag Hammarskjöld, former general secretary of ...Image via Wikipedia

Selected quotes from "Markings", the private and posthumously
published journal of Swedish  Dag Hammarskjold who was Secretary General Of The United Nations for two terms between 1953 and 1961

He died in a plane crash in Rhodesia while on an official UN peace mission. 

Hammarskjold was a Christian and a man of deep faith who also struggled deeply with the difficulties of how to live out that faith in the marketplace of the world.

Reading this book at the age of 16 had a huge influence on my life and remains one of my favourite books.Here's a few quotes to ponder...

Dare he, for whom circumstances make it possible to realize his
true destiny, refuse it simply because he is not prepared to give up
everything else?

You have not done enough, you have never done enough, so long as
    it is still possible that you have something of value to contribute.
    This is the answer when you are groaning under what you consider a
    burden and an uncertainty prolonged ad infinitum.

  When the mornings freshness has been replaced by the weariness of
    midday, when the leg muscles quiver under the strain, the climb seems
    endless, and, suddenly, nothing will go quite as you wish- it is then
    that you must not hesitate.

What next? Why ask? Next will come a demand about which you already
    know all you need to know: that its sole measure is your own strength.

At every moment you choose yourself. But do you choose _your_ self?
Body and soul contain a thousand possibilities out of which you can
build many I's. But in only one of them is there a congruence of the
elector and the elected. 
Only one - which you will never find until
you have excluded all those superficial and fleeting possibilities of
being and doing with which you toy, out of curiosity or wonder or
greed, and which hinder you from casting anchor in the experience of
 the mystery of life, and the consciousness of the talent entrusted
to you which is your I.
We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we
put into it is ours. He who wills adventure will experience it -according
to the measure of his courage. He who wills sacrifice will be sacrificed-
according to the measure of his purity of heart.

Dag Hammmarskjold

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