Video Aids on the Spiritual Life

In our western culture, we seek instant self-gratification.  We want to be entertained, "Make me happy."  This way of being and thinking is the deadliest enemy of the spiritual life.  Over the years when I see a parishioner who has not been to Mass in quite sometime, I will often hear comments such as, "It's dull."  "The Mass doesn't do anything for me."  "The Mass is to long."   "The Church needs to get with the times."  "I have other things to do on Sunday mornings."  All of these comments come from the same western way of thinking, "I need to be entertained."  The problem is, IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!!!!  It is about God!!!!  We need to detach from personal self-attachement and begin to look at ourselves as God sees and loves us.  How is this possible?  Have you ever thought of detachment?


St. John of the Cross insisted that detachment is necessary for holiness.  Many Anglicans, misunderstand this teaching and think that detachment is way too hard and too dull.  The first step to detachment might be to simply settle for luke-warmness.


Misconceptions about deattachment

First of all, the detachment is not aloofness.  We should have proper affection for our family and friends.  It’s nonsensical to be cold towards your spouse due to a supposed love for God.


Detachment doesn’t mean denying the good that is in the material world.  Rather, it means viewing temporal goods as temporal, gifts from God meant to lead us to Him.  Unlike some religions, where the physical world is seen as evil, Christianity does not teach asceticism for its own sake.  We give up our desires for things in order to make room in our hearts for God.  Detachment is a means, not an end.


For example, if you have a love for chocolate, you don’t have to pretend that it tastes bad, in order to be a saint. A saint, [all of us are called to be saints], can still tell the difference between a good wine and a cheap one.  He doesn't over indulge, nor would he be disturbed if he never tasted wine again.  He will also naturally hunger and thirst.  This won’t keep him from fasting when appropriate.


Detachment begins in the heart.  So, how can we speak of detachment in positive terms? Detachment is an attitude of the heart. God calls a few people to give away all their possessions, [such as those individuals who enter the monastic life - yes Anglicans have monks and nuns also].   Think of St. Francis of Assisi.  God allows the rest of us to keep some of what we own, but not cling to it. Detachment means getting rid of our “selfish clinging” to things or persons.


It’s response to God’s love for us, when a person falls in love, everyone else in one's life is secondary to the beloved.  You change your schedule and your priorities.  You spend money and time on that person without feeling like it’s a sacrifice.  If a young man would always rather watch football with the boys, for example, than have dinner with his girlfriend, she would rightly question his feelings for her.  If God let you lose all your loved ones and possessions, as happened to Job in the Old Testament, would you still love and follow Him?  Would you have inner peace?


God calls us to put love for Him above everything else.  When the person can truly do so, then he or she will know what it is to live a life in Christ.


Would you pray even if you didn’t “enjoy” it?  Sometimes when we pray we can feel dry.  Perhaps we do not even feel like praying. Perhaps we have many questions on kepping the spiritual life and how to go about maintaining a spiritual life.  These short videos might be able to help you to grow in your spiritual life and help you to answer some questions that you may have regarding your journey with Christ.