What are the signs that we are too attached to someone or something?

Are there ways we can distinguish attachments from ordinary and proper desires? What are the signs that we are too attached to someone or something?

To address questions like these I turn to a great teacher of mine in matters spiritual, Fr. Thomas Dubay. Fr. Dubay died more than seven years ago but left a great legacy of teaching through his books, audio recordings, and programs at EWTN. I would like to summarize what he teaches in his spiritual classic, Fire Within, a book in which he expounds on the teachings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.

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What are Attachments, and What Are They Not?

On Sunday we heard a Gospel about two men, who finding a treasure and a pearl, went and sold all that they had to have those treasure. Of course the treasure and the pearl were images for the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus selling all they had was a sign of radical freedom from attachments to this world.

For most of us, attachments are THE struggle that most hinders our spiritual growth.

An attachment is a willed seeking of something finite for its own sake. It is an unreal pursuit, an illusory desire. Nothing exists except for the sake of God who made all things for Himself. Any other use is a distortion.

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Purgatory. Help?

Q: Purgatory. Help?

You have to be cleansed to go to Heaven from Purgatory. What do we mean by ‘Cleansed?’

A: Unfortunately, many (some/most?) of us will die still “attached” in some way to our favorite, habitual sins, but none-the-less we will remain faithful friends of God, and members of the Church.

In that condition, we aren’t quite ready for heaven, but we don’t warrant an eternity in hell.

Hence … purgatory.

Purgation is a process where those “attachments” are eliminated, after which we are admitted to heaven.

All this is accomplished only by the grace that Jesus obtained for us on the cross, so the problems our protestant bretheren have with purgatory are based more on anti-Catholic sentiment than on any theological issue.