How can you know what your disordered attachments are?

posted in: Prayer and Virtue | 12
File:Valladolid Museo Diocesano y Catedralicio de Valladolid (05).JPG
Statue of St. John of the Cross at the diocesan museum in Valladolid, Spain (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).


Tomorrow is the feast of the great Carmelite Doctor of the Church, St. John of the Cross. I will be giving a talk tomorrow morning on Spiritual Detachment: What, Why, and How? Here is a small sample from that talk, on discerning what disordered attachments you have in your life.

When you want to know what your attachments are so that you can work to remove them, ask yourself the following questions:

What is it hard for me to give up?

If I give up coffee for Lent, do I break down half-way through and drink it? Do I avoid giving up sweets, because I know it would be too hard?

Maybe there are things I can successfully do without for forty days, but when Lent is over, I can’t wait to indulge in again. Could I give up TV for life, if God asked it of me? Could I live without novels? Would I grumble if I had to suddenly reign in my spending?

What is keeping me from doing my duty?

Do I ignore my kids so that I can spend more time on Facebook? Do I skip my prayer time to go out with a friend? Do I think about what would make the other people in my life happy, or am I mostly catering to myself?

What distracts me?

When I pray, am I thinking about Monday Night Football, instead of Jesus? How about that great dinner I just ate?

When other people are talking, am I composing an email in my head (or actually texting), instead of listening?

Do my activities glorify God?

Can I go straight from surfing the net to prayer, or does it make praying harder? Do my radio-listening habits naturally lead me closer to God, or farther away? Is talking on the phone a near occasion of the sin of gossip? Does my reading material make me angry or more peaceful?

Everything that God created is good. But when we make anything other than God an end in itself, we make it into an idol. We are breaking the first commandment. We must strive to make everything in our lives a springboard towards a closer relationship with God.

If you are anywhere near Glencoe, Minnesota, join us at St. Pius X Catholic Church tomorrow at 9 am. The parish women’s group is hosting my talk, so that means ladies only this time.  I’ll talk in detail about what disordered attachment is (and isn’t), and give specific strategies to work towards proper detachment.

If you would like me to speak to your group and you live within a couple hours of New Ulm, Minnesota, please use the Contact Page to start a conversation with me. I will speak on any aspect of Carmelite spirituality or teaching children to pray. Please pray for my talk as well.  Thank you!

Happy feast of St. John of the Cross!

Connie Rossini

Share with us: Do you have strategies for helping you discern your disordered attachments? What attachments are you working on now?

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Hi, I'm a Catholic writer and homeschool mother of four boys. I practice Carmelite spirituality. Check out my Books page for publications to help your whole family grow in holiness.

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12 Responses

  1. Patricia

    Happy Feast Day, Connie! And, prayers that your talk tomorrow will touch many hearts and help many people draw closer to Jesus. Thank you for all the blessings you share with others through your writing and speaking! May OUr Lady of Mt Carmel and the Carmelite Saints surround and inspire you tomorrow! xo

    • Connie Rossini

      Patricia, thanks! I felt your prayers this morning. We were a small group who braved ice and snow, but it was the most peaceful I’ve ever been in speaking. Enjoy the feast day.

  2. Theresa

    I hope you will share some of your talk at some point for us so far away : ) I like this reflection…perfect before confession.

    Happy Feast Day.

    • Connie Rossini

      Theresa, I am actually going to announce a new initiative soon. I am developing a series of in-depth video seminars on the 5 Lessons, called “Life-Changing Lessons from the Carmelite Saints.” We just bought lighting for our home studio and hope to start experimenting with filming next month. Happy Feast Day to you too. I know this is one of your favorites!

  3. Marianne Komek

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I gave up something recently and found that It has helped me spiritually. I think I am going to continue avoid it. Your insights helped to strengthen my resolve. I will keep you in prayer for a fruitful talk tomorrow.

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