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Scott P. Richert

Thought of the Day: Detachment

By March 13, 2014

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During Lent, we often hear that we need to be "detached" from the things and cares of this world. But as husbands and wives and parents and coworkers, we might find that admonition confusing. How can we be "detached" from the world when we have responsibilities to others?

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, in Listen My Son: St. Benedict for Fathers (compare prices), offers a succinct explanation:

Christian contemplative prayer is not detached from the world. Instead, as [Dom] Cary-Elwes says, it is "a deep longing or attachment with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and all our being for God." Subsequently the Christian is also attached to all other created things with a love which flows from his primary attachment and longing for the Creator himself. The pure Christian heart is "detached" from created things not because he despises them, but because he loves their Creator more.

This Lent, let us practice that "detachment" that helps us increase in love of God--and, through that love, in love of neighbor.

More Lenten Thoughts of the Day:

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February 26, 2009 at 3:34 am
(1) Ave Maria Gratia Plena says:

St Maximus the Confessor wrote this-

The one who is perfect in love and has reached the summit of detachment knows no distinction between one’s own and another’s, between faithful and unfaithful, between slave and freeman, or indeed between male and female. But…having risen above the tyranny of the passions and looking to the one nature of men he regards all equally and is equally disposed toward all. For in him there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither male nor female, neither slave nor freeman, but Christ is everything and in everything.

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