“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” —Luke 9:23
This is one of the three foundational texts of Francis’s rule of life (the others are Matthew 19:21 and Luke 14:26). When Bernard of Quintavalle told Francis he wanted to join his life of poverty, they spoke to the parish priest and, under his guidance, opened the Scriptures three times, a common practice in medieval times. The three passages they read that day express the need to put Christ at the center of all we think, say, and do. If our own goals, possessions, and even families and friends distract us from the Lord’s call, then we are not truly choosing life. In an ideal world, all these things should bring us closer to God— and we should bring them closer to God.
—from the book Lent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek