"All true Christian life ... must begin with a deep yearning to become a new man in Christ, and an inner readiness to 'put off the old man' [Eph. 4:22-24] - a readiness to become something fundamentally different." Transformation in Christ, Dietrich von Hildebrand. Pg. 3That yearning, to one such as myself who was brought up with essentially no religion, was like the Psalm of David says,
"God, you are my God, I pine for you; my heart thirsts for you, my body longs for you, as a land parched, dreary and waterless." Psalm 63:1
Having just met Him (1988), I discovered that I was thirsty for God, indeed the ground of my being was deeply cracked and lifting, ever so parched because of His absence in my life.
I was a slave introduced to the possibility of freedom. I wanted so much to embrace and experience that freedom! I wanted to be a free man!
A strong desire must fill us to become different beings, to mortify our old selves and rearise as new men in Christ. This desire, this readiness to decrease so that 'He may grow in us,' is the first elementary precondition for the transformation in Christ. It is the primal gesture by which man reacts to the light of Christ that has reached his eyes: the original gesture directed to God." Transformation in Christ, Dietrich von Hildebrand. Pg. 5Once the Light of Christ was seen by me, I ached for it to fill the huge dark void within me. How can I describe the darkness and that pain? I cannot.
But, my response was quick and sure: figure out as soon as possible, how I could have Him fill that void with His Light. That became my quest!
Our surrender to Christ implies a readiness to let Him fully transform us, without setting any limit to the modification of our nature under His influence." Transformation in Christ, Dietrich von Hildebrand. Pg. 5
I made a commitment to Him in those early days that had a few different facets. One was to open myself to Him as fully as I was capable so that I would become a saint! The second was to be brutally honest with Him, a select few around me, and myself. I had to be, or I would have ran away.
He truly blessed me for that commitment to Him, despite the many times I managed to run away!