Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Renunciation & Detachment

In The Genesee Diary Henri Nouwen writes:
“In the writings of the desert fathers there is much emphasis on renunciation and detachment.  We have to renounce the world, detach ourselves from our possessions, family, friends, own will, and any form of self-content so that all our thoughts and feelings may become free for the Lord.  I find this very hard to realize.  I keep thinking about distracting things and wonder if I ever will be “empty for God.”  Yesterday and today the idea occurred to me that instead of excluding I could include all my thoughts, ideas, plans, projects, worries, and concerns and make them into prayer.  Instead of directing my attention only to God, I might direct my attention to all my attachments and lead them into the all-embracing arms of God.”
We live in a society of acquisition.  Getting things is the name of our game.  This reflection on how we empty ourselves for God is timely, as is the suggestion that, rather than getting rid of everything, we give it over to the service of God.

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