Sacrificing Materiality for the Riches of Truth-Spirit
Julio C. Rivas, C.S.
What is it that we must sacrifice on the “cross” of spiritual understanding? We should renounce all concepts that deny our incorporeal, limitless, celestial identity. Our actual self is the immortal and irrepressible oeuvre of superlative Spirit. Materiality attempts to blind us to this fact.
The cross is often thought to represent agonizing suffering. It can be that. But it also represents spiritual victory over evil. Jesus submitted to agonizing torture and death – his cross experience – so that he could prove to humanity that we have an indestructible and resplendent life in Spirit-God. From Jesus we learn that Good-God’s presence in us annihilates evil.
There are manifold, negative, matter-premised arguments trying to obscure our perception of infinite Truth. Conformism to the cultural points of view we were brought up in (religious, scientific, social, political, cultural, and so on) hinder spiritual enlightenment. Habits, bias and ignorance are the antipode of Truth.
We also have to fight the multifarious weaknesses/sins which attempt to enslave us. Fear, envy, hatred, jealousy, insecurity, and revenge are some of these. We can also add self-will, self-justification and self-love.
Sometimes evil makes us doubt the efficacy of our good deeds. It weakens our confidence in the healing fruitage of our prayers.
Truth liberates, encourages, comforts and inspires. The smallest insight into eternal Truth triumphs over any spurious, material argument. We also obtain from Truth indomitable health, intelligence and power.
The sacrifices made by admirable, Truth-inspired individuals throughout history are numerous. Their marvelous accomplishments were made possible by their discovery of Spirit’s limitless substance and efficacy. They spur us onward.
As we put aside a personal, mortal ego – which is only a delusion, we take hold of outstanding, Spirit-given abilities. We, too, have much more we can accomplish.
Spiritual apprehension is triumphant over any difficulty. Biblical Scripture shows how the Lamb of Love slays the wolf. This expression is often used in reference to the spiritual purity and might of Christ Jesus. It also means that our growth in Christ gives us power to slay harmful influences. God-given wisdom defeats whatever would try to hurt us.
Revolutionary, metaphysical thinker and author, Mary Baker Eddy, defines the “Lamb of God” as “The spiritual idea of Love; self-immolation; innocence and purity; sacrifice.”
Spiritual man is the idea of Love. Spiritual education extirpates materiality’s insidious concepts. This is how we prove that we are Love’s incorporeal, excellent expressions.
Spiritual enlightenment, which cancels material misconceptions, demonstrates divine power. When the early Christians are referred to as “martyrs” it is often in the context of the way they suffered for their beliefs. But the original meaning of “martyrs” was something to admire and emulate. It recognized that martyrs were witnesses to the supreme might of God-Spirit.
Eddy describes martyrs as "human links which connect one stage with another in the history of religion" and as "earth's luminaries which serve to cleanse and rarefy the atmosphere of material sense and to permeate humanity with purer ideals.”
Sacrifice of materiality eliminates what is harmful and unproductive to make room for our superlative endowments from Mind-God. Therefore, the “cross” does not have to involve suffering. It is a spiritual metamorphosis which crowns us with divine riches and victory.