Saturday, 2 March 2013

St. Claude de Colombiere - On Detachment

St. Claude de Colombiere


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The thought of the greatness of God and of the nothingness of all created things has made me understand the foolishness of those who make themselves dependent upon other people and the happiness of those who depend only upon God.

There is only one way of raising ourselves above our own nothingness, and that is to cling to God: “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor 6:17). By doing this we rise above the things of earth and become in some measure like unto God.

There is no peace except in perfect forgetfulness of self. We must make up our mind to forget even our spiritual interests and think only of God’s glory.

Thinking of the eternity of God, I imagined it as an immovable rock on the bank of a river past which God sees every creature go by without ever moving himself. Those who are attached to created things appeared to me like people caught in the current, some clinging to a plank, others to the trunk of a tree, others to a mere heap of foam which they mistake for something solid. Everything is washed away by the torrent: friends die, health is shattered, life passes, and we arrive at eternity borne along by these passing props and plunge into it as we do into a sea which we cannot prevent ourselves from entering and where we perish.

Then we see how imprudent we have been not to attach ourselves to the immovable and eternal Rock; we would like to go back, but the waves have carried us on too far; we cannot return but must necessarily perish with all perishable things.

On the other hand, a man who clings to God sees the peril and loss of others without fear for himself; whatever happens he stands upon the rock. God cannot forsake him; he has clung to him alone and feels himself always upheld by the Eternal. Adversity comes and shows him what a good choice he has made. Such a man always possesses God; the death of his relations and friends, separation from all who esteem and favor him, distance, change of employment or of dwelling, age, sickness, or death, none of these things separate him from God. He is always happy and says in peace and joy of heart: “It is good for me to hold fast unto my God: to put my hope in the Lord God” (Ps 73:28).

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