When I decided to change the focus of the blog, after long discussions with son and friends, my conflict on continuing involved answering three questions.
Is writing on the blog still a good and necessary “ministry” for me, a layperson?
Can I maintain solitude and still write publicly?
Can I be detached from the world while working on line?
Feedback indicated that I should continue a bit longer with the blog for the benefit of those who read it.
As much of my writings are meditations from prayer and reflection, yes, I could maintain solitude, with this caveat: the more one knows about God, the less one can say about Him. Solitude brings about more knowledge of God and more knowledge of God created silence. People say to me that they do not like silence. God is in the silence, and the more one meets Him there, the more one chooses to be silent. Like sitting in the park with one’s beloved, and saying nothing, being with and in God becomes the focus of one’s life. Love demands more and more solitude and silence.
As to detachment, the answer is again “yes” as one can be detached without engaging in the world, but merely sharing insights. Now, an important element of detachment must be this. That one never, never can develop a deep relationship with God without detachment. Poverty of spirit allows one to be free enough to pursue the God Who saw life at first from the manger; the God Who said He had no where to lay His Head; the God Who was stripped of all and died in a shameful way on the Cross.
Detachment, or, poverty of spirit opens the door for a relationship with God. Why?
God is a Jealous God and wants “no gods before me”, as He told Moses so long ago and reminds us throughout the Old and New Testament. Whenever the People of God forgot Who was really God, the relationship became compromised.
God will not have other gods in our lives if we are serious about loving Him and serving Him. Without detachment, also called poverty of spirit, we shall never have a relationship with God.
Freedom comes with poverty of spirit, and for some of us, who are poor, physical poverty brings poverty of spirit. Some who are wealthy have been given the gift of poverty of spirit, but this is a rare combination of gifts-wealth and detachment.
It is actually harder for a poor person to have an intimate relationship with God, as that person can ask “Why do I have to suffer?” or “I cannot see how God is blessing me.” When Jesus listed the miracles in answer to His disciples, and the passage is below, the poor accepting the Gospel of God’s love and kingdom, was considered a miracle by Christ.
Matthew 11:5 Douay-Rheims
5 The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them.
It is a miracle that the poor even listened. The rich have more reasons to love God, such as status, money, freedom to move, financial security, homes, and many other things. The poor who have little or nothing and accept God’s love through Christ do so purely on faith, hope, and love, nothing else.
That acceptance of Christ is a result of the miracle of detachment. Poor people can be grabbing, greedy, envious, jealous, lying and cheating sorts, but those who follow Christ merit the freedom to be poor and still love God. This is a miracle, indeed.
But, poverty of spirit has not been a middle-class value. Neither has solitude….
God comes to us when we are free enough to want His love, and not before. Solitude becomes the goal of the soul thirsting for God’s companionship. Christ is my Bridegroom, and I prefer His company to that of anyone else’s. But, Christ will not let me stay in solitude for very long. He pushes me out into the world. I am not allowed to stay in the desert for very long. That is my Way of the Cross, having to walk and talk and immerse myself in the trivia of the world for His sake of the Kingdom.
Without poverty of spirit, one has to be honest and say that he or she will never know God while on this earth. Perhaps, in purgatory, one came come to detachment, but waiting until death means that the Church has not benefited from the freedom and merit of a person or persons, who are living in detachment.
Solitude and detachment, silence and freedom from things and little gods.