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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.)
Hey everyone Welcome to Season Four finale of Midnight Carmelite. So this season we’ve been discussing detachment, how it’s essential for the spiritual life. And in the finale, I wanted to do some scriptural exegesis from the original Greek and I wanted to dive into other sources and Saints, magisterial documents and Saints that may help light our way for how to think about detachment in our own lives, in ways that will probably surprise you or maybe not. So I’m gonna start with Romans one Verse 18- 22.
This is my translation. So it says, for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all, impiety and unrighteousness of men, those are who, holding down the truth by unrighteousness, the personal knowledge of God is manifest among them. For God has manifested it to them for the invisible operation of him from the creation of the world being understood by things may not accordingly scene both his eternal power and divinity for them to be without excuse for having personally and experientially known God. They glorified him not as God, or we’re thankful, but became without meaning in their discussion. And the undiscerning heart of them was obscured. Asserting themselves to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man and birds and four legged creatures and reptiles.
So let’s unpack this here. So, Saint Paul here talks about the idolatry, right? So he’s talking about how men see God through creation, but they refused to acknowledge him, he says for them, they’re without excuse because God’s manifested himself through creation. Now, God, it’s invisible operation from the creation of the world, being understood by things made our accordingly scene, both his eternal power and his divinity.
So this notion of creation creation itself, that’s where you see the eternal power and divinity of God. But what’s interesting to me is he says, man turns birds and men and creatures and reptiles, this creation into God. And we’ve seen this before in the season. That’s attachment. You’re putting finite things, man, birds, creatures, reptiles above God. So he’s referring to it with detachment. So while an obvious consequence of exchanging God for things that are not God as a kind of atheism, it’s idolatry, right?
And there’s various types of atheism. I think that the one I want to focus on the kind of atheism, I want to focus on surprise you. It’s the fault of believers and not making God manifest in the things he made. And you say, wait a minute, how is it our fault as believers that we can’t control creation. God controls the creation. I am not responsible. Yes, God made creation. And yes, this is what St. Paul is referring to here, but he made something else.
He made us Children of God through Baptism and we’re remade in Christ through Baptism. Therefore we have a responsibility to manifest personally and experientially that we are Christians that we believe in, Jesus Christ that we are not attached to corruptible things like St. Paul said men, birds, reptiles, et cetera. But instead we are attached to God and detached from corruptible things, insofar as we order our lives ultimately to God. Again, remember detachments, not saying don’t touch corruptible things and which is any finite thing, right? It’s not saying that it’s saying everything is ordered to God.
Gaudium et Spes, 19, section three explicitly states this fact saying that believers are a proximate cause of the rise of Atheism. So again, how is it the fault of believers and not making God manifests and things he made by not living as Christians? And Gaudium et Spes says it is a cause of the rise of Atheism. Godlessness, idolatry. And the section lists multiple ways that believers are cause the first carelessness and instruction of our faith. Two, they present teachings of our faith falsely. Three, failure in religious aspects of our lives for failure and moral aspects of our lives.
five failures in social aspects of our lives. So, if you go look at St. Paul’s verse, he says, God, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all impiety and unrighteousness of men who holding down the truth by unrighteousness. Well, all those five things concealed and hold down God’s righteousness. Why? Because you’re not manifesting God through things he made i.e., the baptized Christian. So then our unrighteousness conceals this personal experiential knowledge of God that others should see and those who follow Christ so let that sink in for a moment.
To put it in the context of detachment and attachments. Your attachments are concealing God because you’re not properly ordered to God. Now some light gets through but not all of it that should to manifest that you’re a follower of Christ and we’ll get to that later. So hold on to that light, the notion of light. So thus we see clearly here these causes arise from attachments. Let me say well how does carelessness and the instruction of our faith for example, come from attachment. What? There could be multiple causes.
But let’s say one is watching TV instead of learning about your faith. You know Saint Peter says in his letter that we’re called to defend our faith when people ask so we have a responsibility of teaching it. We have a responsibility of knowing why we’re baptized, why we believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. And if you don’t if you can’t answer those questions that’s concealing God from others because you may be called to answer that. Another could be laziness, that is just going through the motions.
Mechanistic faith. You know I go to mass oh I say my prayers oh I do this well does your heart match what you say and do because look everyone knows and you know people as an aside people get on this today where they say, oh, well, it’s the exterior generates the interior maybe in some sense, I’d say. But the real value of a vocal prayer, for example, is whether your interior disposition matches with the words you’re saying. So, for example, let’s say you go to your family member.
You have a sister or brother, let’s say a sibling. And you say I love you. They can look at you and say, I don’t think you mean that. So you said the words, I love you. You came to them. You were in their presence, you said it. But they said, I don’t think your interior disposition matches the words you’re telling me. I don’t believe you. So that that’s an example of going through the motions. So, whatever the cause may actually be in each person’s circumstance and the intentions of that person.
These causes lead to a rise of atheism, Godlessness, idolatry, and that conceals God from others. It’s holding down the truth, suppressing it. And I want to be clear, there are times for leisure activities that is activities for the sake of themselves, and those are necessary. I’ve probably talked about it before, but you need to you need to have leisure. You need to have, you know, some form of entertainment every now and then, some recreation. But our predilections as human persons has fallen human persons is towards doing what we want.
That is we want to be. We are really attached to our self love, which begets attachments in our life to finite things rather than detaching and putting God 1st. So you may say well Andrew I still don’t buy it. Right, Okay, let’s take this to the to the source. Consider the sin of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve wanted to have eternal life without God, Satan said to them, you will be like God knowing good and evil. They wanted to be like God without obeying God without God, without friendship with God.
In fact, St. Maximus the Confessor says the Adam and Eve wanted to be like God without God before God and not according to God, that’s exactly what attachment is. That’s exactly what this idolatry is. We want something to be like God, some finite thing without God. In the picture, we’re dealing with that thing because we’re the one in charge. Not God put the thing before God, make it an idol and we’re not interacting with ourselves or that thing according to God’s will, meaning we’re doing it. We’re interacting with that thing, working with the thing according to what we want from it rather than what God may want us to do with it.
So here it is, even back with Adam and Eve are attachments are kind of atheism. It’s an attachment atheism that removes God from the picture for the sake of ultimately our self love approximately whatever thing we want or have without God before God, and not according to God’s will for us that we’re making like God. So we may acknowledge God by words or even by deeds. That is we do the deeds we want to do and say the words we want to say. Go to, like I said, you do go through the motions, right?
But somewhere in the mixture of ourselves in our person, where we battle spiritually for the good and against evil, in the confusion of this battle, we carry some attachments even as baptized Christians that conceal God. And this is a kind of atheism that not only prevents us from growing in the spiritual life because we’re attached, but it damages our neighbor who does not see manifest personally and experientially a Christian, but instead are light given by God to us, is put under a bushel basket. And furthermore, Jesus warns us in the following way in Luke 11.
Therefore beware lest the light that is in you be darkness. The verse continues. Therefore, if your body is full of light, not having any dark part, it will be fully light as when a lamp in shining sheds its rays on you. By the way, that’s my translation. The point, Jesus here is saying is don’t hold it down. Don’t put you know, like he says another verse, don’t put a bushel basket over it. Your attachments are putting a bushel basket over it because you’re concealing God by making it about you.
Like I was saying, you’ve got to remove the bushel basket and be a light to the world. We must not conceal God with our attachments, which is unrighteousness. As followers of Christ, this causes damage not only to ourselves again, but to others who we conceal our God given light from, which ought to be there to manifest God to others personally and experientially. We have to find these attachments in the confusion, a mixture within ourselves as persons. So that’s it for season four and detachment. I’m not sure when season five will come out.
Thanks for listening. And I will talk to you soon. Take care.
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