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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chaos to Conversion: Detachment

Hermitage day at Our Lady of the Angels Friary in
Black Forest near Colorado Springs.
There's a story in the Gospels about a man who comes across Jesus, and so he asks him what it takes to inherit the Kingdom of God that Jesus so often spoke about. Jesus tells him that he should sell what he has, give to the poor and then he will have treasure in Heaven. The man, walks away sad because he had so many things. (Matt 10:17-30) I love this story in Matthew, because it reveals to us that there is necessary a physical stripping of ourselves if we really want to build that still-shaky relationship with God. Not only does our faith require a physical detachment but I think what the Gospel is pointing to is an interior detachment as well. Detachment from caring only about ourselves, from restlessness in our own hearts, detachment from all the noise and chaos within. It's a two fold coin and I think the journey through that process leads to a true, healthy and happy conversion.

As Postulants, my classmates and I do various ministries throughout the week. The two main focuses are with the homeless and the elderly. Both require stepping outside the comfortable box we're so used to and putting ourselves in the very shoes and life of the person. The difficulty is understanding what they need and recognizing how you can be there for that person even if that means thinking less of yourself and what makes you comfortable. So often the people that we serve end up serving us in some way and for me in my ministry, the beautiful thing that we [my brothers] recognize is that these people, who have nothing, still have so much to give. Homeless are asking me if I am doing alright, and if I need anything. Elderly who are dying and on deathbeds are asking me if I have eaten or if I am okay. I have found it ironic that those who seem to have no life, give the most of it. From that lesson, I believe that that's what the gospel is calling each of us to do. Give up all that you have, so that you can be so immensely open and free for God that you are able to give every ounce to those who need it the most.  The calling is to seek a true poverty that always leads us to love as Saint Francis did. With that two fold coin, I have outlined just a few things that might help you and me on that journey to the Kingdom of God when it comes to detachment. Here are a few things that might help battle the consequences of obtaining material things, contrary to detachment.

PRAY- Praying is conversation with God, it's also understanding that somebody greater is in control, and we can't fight the good fight alone. So recognize that every day is a struggle in the spiritual life, a continuous battle that can be won. Pray always even when you don't have the patience to pray, especially in the silence. Pray for help, pray for conversion and pray for the grace seek God above all other things. Join me in this petition.

GIVE THANKS- It's easy to forget about all the things we really do have when we're living in it. Like the saying, "You don't know what you have until it's gone." So be grateful and never take life for granted. Be thankful for every circumstance and trial and show compassion to all those that you encounter, you might be the last person they have. Give your thanks to God by praising him and honoring him with talents and gifts. The greatest way of Thanksgiving to God is through the Holy Eucharist in the Mass. Join me in this petition.

In our natural born tendency to possess material things, I believe there becomes chaos in our lives, in our spirituality and therefore keeping us from really understanding and portraying a life of love and discipleship in Christ. For Saint Francis, once we knew that his own Chaos was preventing him from truly loving those people who needed it the most, he began living out the gospel, praying and praising God every moment of his life. It's the same for us, once we recognize our own chaos, there is a move and a desire for detachment with the help of God's grace. In our prayers, thanksgiving and praise we can begin a journey to conversion.

Saint Francis of Assisi, Pray for us

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