Father, grant us grace to take up our crosses and follow Jesus in the way of suffering and death. We know that the only way to resurrection and victory is through suffering and the cross, but it is difficult. We love our pleasures. We love the trivial pursuits that take up our time and fill up our days. We also love our foolish practices, the secret sins to which we return again and again, even though we know that they will destroy us. Give us wisdom and understanding that we may discern in every situation how to embody the cross that we might experience life. Help us to put to death our sin that we may share in the life of Christ by the power of the Spirit. Amen.