Wednesday, 11 March 2009
From the Devout Life today:
If you are much attached to the goods which you have, if you are much wrapt up in them, setting your heart on them, fixing your thoughts on them and fearing with a lively and anxious fear to lose them, believe me, you still have some sort of fever; for they that have fever drink the water which is given them with a certain eagerness, with a kind of attention and satisfaction which the healthy are not wont to have: it is not possible to take great pleasure in a thing without having much affection for it. If perchance you suffer loss of goods, and feel that your heart is much disturbed and afflicted thereat, believe, Philothea, that you have much affection for them; for there is no clearer proof of affection for a thing than distress at the loss thereof.
Therefore do not desire with a fully formed desire the goods which you have not; and do not set your heart too much upon those things which you have; be not at all disturbed at the losses which befall you, and you will have some reason to believe, that being rich in effect, you are not so in affection, but that you are poor in spirit, and consequently blessed, for yours is the Kingdom of heaven.
It is easy for me to forget my love for things unless they are temporarily taken away - puddings (which we've given up for Lent), the internet, and hot water in the morning (when it fails every now and then) are some things I can think of! And yet I'm sure that were I to forced to go without them completely, I would survive somehow... I sometimes wonder whether to give up things like facebook, which I don't use that much, but then it is useful for keeping in touch with and finding people whose contact details I don't have. Nevertheless it's nice to see that some people have given it up for Lent - I'm sure they're getting a lot more done in the time!