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