The Gospel contains a fundamental paradox: to find life, one must lose life; to be born, one must die; to save oneself, one must take up the cross. This is the essential truth of the Gospel, which always and everywhere is bound to meet with man's protest.
Always and everywhere the Gospel will be a challenge to human weakness. But precisely in this challenge lies all its power. Man, perhaps subconsciously waits for such a challenge; indeed, man feels the inner need to transcend himself. Only in transcending himself does man become fully human... (emphasis in original)
Crossing the Threshold of Hope