Sunday, July 25, 2010

Decluttering -- A Means to Growth in the Spiritual Life

The homily stressed the need to persevere in prayer, to pray without ceasing and with an insistence, in humility of course, that God hear and answer that prayer.

I listened intently, wondering if I could be so bold as to ask for everything I think I need. Then, I wondered about exactly what I do need. I have so much, an overabundance of things, merchandise, junk, commodities, trinkets -- STUFF!

I don't need to ask for more things. That's for sure.

The homily continued.

The world needs prayers, the Church needs prayers, the community -- our society -- needs prayers, our families need prayers. Pray, continue to pray with faith, in humility, and with holy perseverance, that is what the priest said. We have to ask for the grace to pray well -- we all need to do that.

A thought crossed my mind, what I need is to minimize those things that clutter, distract, divide, cause consternation and irritation in my home. This means, in no uncertain terms, that I must focus my prayer on asking for the grace to empty my home of those things I DO NOT need.

This was a homily for me about my duty to keep a simple and a humble home; a homily that leads me toward perfecting my vocation by praying for the grace to show my children the value of the keeping those things that they need for their pleasure and leisure time, but relinquishing the desire to have or to keep those things which serve no purpose to us. It will help them to pray well, to be less distracted by those material items that occupy a good portion of their time.

I need to pray for detachment. I think this is what we all need, but what I need most immediately. It reminded me of the story about the widow who was willing to give up what little she had to offer worship.
When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood." (Lk 21: 1-4)
Holiness will flow from the grace to let go of those things that bind us to the material world. The spiritual realm, that place in which we listen to Our Lord and respond to the call to worship, where we place our hearts desires before Him, requires that we not be laden by material burdens. We need to place those burdens upon the Lord and let Him lift the distraction of attachment from us. It will also help us to see that we must come to the spiritual life out of our poverty.

I left Mass today still thinking about this concept of material detachment leading to spiritual growth and a deeper prayer life with this resolution: it's time to prayerfully clean my basement.

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