And yet, I still struggle. Lord I believe, help my unbelief. (Mark 9:24). Faith does not give you the kind of certitude that you have when you learn something from a book. Why do I confess Christ, but wrestle to trust Him, and to obey Him? Why do I know that He is who He says He is, yet I do not love Him with all my heart, and I do not do as He commanded, and love my neighbor as myself? Why could those men of the High Middle Ages raise a matchless cathedral for the love of God, but I can’t even raise myself up out of bed early to pray as I should?
I have no answer, other than that dying to oneself takes a lifetime.
---Rod Dreher, "The Rose Window and the Labyrinth"
The great fault of our age (as of every age, from my reading of history) is pride. A lack of humility poisons everything, across all segments of society. Our political arena alone is so bereft of humility that any admission of human doubt or weakness is a death sentence.
Here's a news flash: we're all full of crap. Every one of us. Those most self-assured are, most assuredly, the most full of it, but even the few saints among us, while they might have less than the rest of us, are not completely spic and span. One critical difference between a saint and "a man in full," however, is that the saint will recognize and confess that fact.
Rod's right, I think. Dying to oneself does, indeed, take a lifetime. I wish I'd understood this sooner in life. I wish more people, particularly those who propose to lead us, understood this now.