The natural life isn’t sinful; the disposition that rules the natural life is sinful. Sin belongs to hell and the devil, while I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and God and the disposition he has put in me. I must have nothing to do with sin in any shape or form. This isn’t a question of giving up sin, per se, but rather of giving up my right to myself. I have to give up my natural independence and self–assertiveness; this is where the battle must be fought.

The natural life can be made spiritual only through sacrifice. If I fail to resolutely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural in me. There’s no royal road I can take to get there, no smooth and well–marked path. I must make my own way. Sacrifice is not a question of praying but of performing; I have to strive if I wish to attain the highest goal.

The things that keep me from striving for God’s best and highest are those which, from a natural standpoint, appear right and noble and good. When I understand that natural virtues are at odds with my surrender to God, I bring my soul into the center of its greatest battle. Very few of us are drawn by the sordid and evil and wrong, but many of us are drawn by the good. It is the good that hates the best. The higher we climb on the ladder of natural virtue, the more intense the opposition to Jesus Christ.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh.” If you want to belong to Christ, it’s going to cost the natural part of you everything, not just something. When Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves” (Matthew 16:24), he meant that those who want to be his must entirely give up their right to themselves. Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your independence.

Wisdom from Oswald

The life of Abraham is an illustration of two things: of unreserved surrender to God, and of God’s complete possession of a child of His for His own highest end. Not Knowing Whither, 901 R