Explaining Detachment Positively

Detachment is often preached by contemplative souls. We should not be attached to creatures. We should not give ourselves to things less than God, for indeed “people are slaves to whatever masters them” (2 Pet 2:19).

All this is true, but it sounds negative.

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity – whose memorial approaches us tomorrow, the same day as the Feast of the Dedication of Saint John Lateran – puts a more positive light on things:

ElisabethO my Jesus, yes, I see that I have loved creatures too much; I have been too given over to them and have desired their affection too much – or rather, I have not loved them with a divine love.

Sure, says the young Elizabeth Catez, I have wanted too much from creatures; but even more, I have not loved them enough, with enough of God’s love. I should be loving them to give God’s love and to let them take their place in the cosmic renewal of Christ; I shouldn’t be wanting them, wanting from them, and demanding from them. Detachment is good because the hole is filled with divine love – with which we must immediately love creatures back.

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One thought on “Explaining Detachment Positively

  1. Beautifully put. I am reminded of the greatest Commandment, to Love God with the entirety of our being – our heart, soul, and mind. If we give anything else higher importance, we are binding ourselves to that which is flawed, temporal and causing us pain.

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