Do you want a more charitable heart? Detachment is the key.
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(NOTE: This transcription has been automatically generated through an AI program. Consequently, this transcript may not match everything you hear in the podcast episode, and it may contain errors such as spelling, grammar, word choice, etc., due to the limitations of current AI technology.)
Welcome to episode three of season four of Midnight Carmelite. This episode will continue our discussion of detachment, and we’ll bring in our discussion of pride as well, and how that relates to detachment, enjoy.
Kind of to summarize all this after man fell, the human person became divided again in the sense that each human person began to place in his or her heart in some thing or things above God. So in other words, people began to see things as more important than God. And in many cases this thing is the person’s self, this placement of oneself above God can be seen in the vice of pride.
Okay, charity connects to detachment. Detachment connects to humility. If you are bringing the truth in love in your own life to yourself and two others in the world, meaning your neighbor and to God, that’s charity. If you’re not detached from things in this world, like we’ve been talking about, like you put one above God or above other things that should be, it should be above or below practicing detachment. But the insidious thing is if you’re not doing detachment or you’re not doing charity, what it really is your pride.
What it really is is your way of doing things. Your way of explaining things, your way of. You know, you’re not looking at how your neighbor sees things or how your neighbor receives things. You’re not looking at how you relate to this other thing, like twitter or two flowers or whatever. You’re not thinking about God, even though you may say the name God. That’s the real insidious thing is the vice of pride. We all struggle with it and it’s super insidious. It slips into everything. You slip yourself, I promise you into something in your life and to go down to that route and to find it and rooted out that will build humility.
Because what is humility as Bishop Sheen says it’s truth. What is truth? Who you really are? What are your strengths? What haven’t you worked on? What do you need to work on all the things that should be coming out in the sacrament of confession that will kill your pride fast, by the way. So examination of conscience and all these things, this is so important for detachment. If you don’t do that, what will happen is you’ll justify your relation to finite things in relation to God without doing the self evaluation to determine whether you’re receiving those things is higher than God or not.
Or whether you’re treating those things is higher than God or not, or whether you’re saying that what’s good for another person, you’re trying to be charitable isn’t what God wants for that person, because you’re not referencing to God, You’re referencing on what you think is best for that person, what you think, you should be telling them right now. What you think, you should notice that you think that that’s the pride I’m talking about. It’s what God thinks for this person and you have to engage the pain and problem with that person as a person based on what’s in front of you as Christ would again, give me a drink, he didn’t say you’re crazy adulterer, like, you’re going to hell, like, again, I’m not saying anything about bad about hell, Hell exists.
The point is, is that, like, notice how he dealt with the woman at the well and by the way, the Carmelites bring up this example all the time. So this is this that I’ve seen in the ratings, that this is a big example in it. It’s often when I’ve meditated on and I think it’s beautiful and then frankly, in a lot of ways it was my personal journey. You know, he could have told me you’re going to hell Andrew, but he didn’t. So his mercy endures forever.
This fundamental division in the human person moves a person’s sensible appetites to pull the person away from higher things and towards lower things. And so this movement upsets the order of the human person interiorly in the order of creation exteriorly. Now you’d be saying, okay, this is all a bunch of highfalutin, you know, this is great Andrew it’s a bunch of highfalutin stuff, How does this work for me? Okay, how does how does this make sense for me? You not only do you replace God with lower things.
People also seek pleasure for the sake of itself. So we’re back to pain and pleasure and what’s the pleasure for the sake of itself. Your pride. What you’re doing is you’re saying it’s oh this is your you’re saying this is the person what it needs because you feel like it’s good not because that person may not actually need it in reference to what God wants for them. Do you see the insidious thing that happens there is is when you relate to other people and you think you’re relating to them in charity, it has to be a reference to God, otherwise it’s not charity.
So you have to look and say, well what do I think the good is that God wants for this person and how do you do that? You have to know them. You can’t just you can’t just look at a person and say, oh well I see this person doing X. Therefore why it’s not that simple. You don’t know why they’re doing why you don’t know the intention of the heart, you can never know. So you have to know that person to be able to make that judgment about what what it what it really boils down to is a pleasure for the sake of you coming out and being like, oh I think I should use twitter because it helps me with my work.
But really you just get pleasure out of twitter, saying like it’s just it’s my point is the pride insinuates into these justifying areas where we seek the pleasure of an act for the sake of itself for our pride and for ourselves, rather than be detached and look for what God wants for us, how to deal with all these things. So again, to see what is wrong with teaching, seeking pleasure for the sake of itself, consider the difference between seeking pleasure for the sake of itself and Christ, accepting suffering on the cross.
Christ did not seek pleasure for itself. He didn’t have a good life. He was poor, he was persecuted. He was exiled for a period of time until he came back from Egypt. He was wide about he was, you know, constantly put on the spot. He was constantly being asked for things. He didn’t seek pleasure for himself and neither should we. So in all cases were called to follow God’s will. And that sometimes means we have to accept pain and suffering in our life. God has the power to bring about great good even through that suffering.
So again, it’s gonna be suffering to pull back away and detach from how you may have been operating with other people. Your attachment to finite things like twitter or whatever. And I know I’m saying twitter all the time. What, you know, whatever, that finite thing maybe, and you have to detach from that because well, what’s really happening is when you stay attached is it’s really about your pleasure and you it’s not about God. So whether we are suffering or experience something that’s pleasurable. We should be keeping our eyes on Christ and trying to do God’s will.
Like I’ve been saying, we should be trying to do God’s will also, we must try to identify things that keep us from doing God’s will. So, again, it’s saying, do you look at something you’re saying is this thing preventing you from doing God’s will God first, always, we must try to identify those things we’ve placed above God in our heart it’s funny in the psalms, God says, you know, I don’t want sacrifices but a contrite heart, he wants us to long for him more than anything, because that shows we really love him for him, not for the blessings he gives, not for the fact, like, just it’s for God is God again to use the marriage analogy, it would be like saying, well, you know, I’m speaking as a guy here, you know, I really love my wife because she does X, Y or Z. For me, any person would be like, well, that’s it, you’ve, like, reduced her to that.
She’s a person, you know, like, she has pains and problems, she has desires, she is, you know, this, she wants to be the person God wants her to be, You know, are you helping her with? That shouldn’t that be your pleasure, is helping her be the person God wants her to be, that’s the, you know, that’s what’s going to sanctify you in your marriage broadly speaking. You know, it’s it’s all these things where we we lose that. So when we identify whatever that is, whatever that something is, that’s above God.
In our hearts, we have identified an attachment that needs to be removed. And by removing this attachment, free from these attachments. And I’m also here, it’s attachments for me, and trust me, it’s attachments for you. We take the thing that we have placed above God and put it in its proper place, which is below God. So this shift of placement or removal of attachment is what Saint john of the Cross means by the word detachment. So Saint John of the Cross explains many times in his work that the goal of attachment is not to remove pleasure, but to reorient the whole person back to God.
And I must say that one more time, because this is like the key thing. Detachment is not to remove pleasure, but to reorient the whole person back to God, metanoia. So, as you can clearly see, metanoia. And being oriented back to God is what we all need to strive for when we’re dealing with attachment. So next week I’ll release episode four of this discussion of detachment, and I will see you then.
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