This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you! There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends, if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead, I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.
You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
This is my command, that you love one another.
Sic transit gloria mundi (Glory is fleeting). Man is obsessed with angst about death. People choose to die because of psychotic self-centeredness (drug-alcohol dependency) and altruism (patriotism). Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. remarked, “I have come to the conclusion that he (the Filipino) is worth dying for because he is the nation’s greatest untapped resource.” Whether motivated by true or false love, dying for self or others is debatable.
“Heroes are something we create, something we need … for us to understand what is almost incomprehensible, how people could sacrifice so much for us … they may have fought for their country but they died for their friends.” (Flags of Our Fathers)
Tibetan Book of Living and Dying says it is good to picture one’s own (physical) death daily. (Sogyal Rinpoche) Christianity teaches that mortification (Lat. mortem+facere, to die) is a means to curb one’s inordinate desires through “little deaths” by refraining from delicious food or refreshing drink for some time. Mortification helps us to discipline our willpower and obtain graces. We are asked to die for Christ, not as the martyrs did, but to perform “little deaths” for ourselves and for our best friend, Jesus Christ.
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