If we receive everything – even our very lives – as a gift, then we have nothing to cling to or to protect. Following the example of Jesus, we become ‘nothing.’ In a sense, we ‘die’ – and thus we no longer have to fear dispossession, loss, diminishment, or expenditure in the face of death. Not that we seek out such losses. But we form our identities in such a way that we are freed from the anxiety of self-preservation, which makes different choices and modes of being human open and available to us. The creation of a secure heart makes love a possibility. It enables us to do something that biological creatures worried about self-preservation don’t naturally do: place the interests of others before our own.
The Slavery of Death – Richard Beck (77)