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Chapter 47

Holy Detachment and
Union with God

 

Above all the grace and the gifts
that Christ gives to his beloved
is that of overcoming self.
—St. Francis of Assisi

 

 

He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:37)  The love of God and union with Him takes precedence over all else in the Christian life.  We follow Jesus Christ and that spiritual instinct of the Holy Spirit that leads us in the way of divine wisdom, not in the way of the world, the flesh or the devil.  “For freedom Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, therefore, and do not be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1)  We seek to please God, not ourselves or others.  Although it may seem mean or selfish, and others may not agree with it, understand it, or believe it, everyone is blessed when we do God’s will.  It is not only good for you, but for them too, when you do God’s will and not your own or theirs, unless they are in harmony or one and the same.  At this point in the spiritual life, it would be helpful, if you are able, to read— The Life Of Union With God by Auguste Saudreau.  For those called to contemplation, it is food for the soul, light for the mind, and love for the heart.  In other words, excellent spiritual reading.

God wants to satisfy us in Himself, but He has to detach us from our selfish attachments, free us from our clinging possessiveness, so that we can be united to Him in true freedom and love.  On the cross, Christ was detached from everything.  He lost His last possessions.  “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” (John 19:24)  He gave away His mother for her own good and the good of others.  “Woman, behold your son.”  “Behold, your mother.” (John 19:26-27)  He felt separated from His Father.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46)  He lost His life.  “When Jesus had taken the vinegar, he said, ‘It is finished.’  Then he bowed his head and gave up the spirit.” (John 19:30)  Christ was attached to the cross so that we could be detached from everything that separates us from Him.  He was lifted up in the resurrection and ascension so that we could be lifted up through Him, with Him, and in Him, to the Father by the consuming Fire of the Holy Spirit.  We cannot rest in any creature, only in the Creator above all things created.  “The son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matt. 8:20) 

 

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