Of all the lessons of Lent the lesson of detachment is the hardest for me to learn. Detachment is challenging to accept and integrate into my life. My Lenten practice continues to show me how attached I am to the stuff in my life. I’m attached to my possessions, my thoughts, my religion, my judgments, even my Jesus.
Thomas Merton said,
“I know I am in danger, but how can I be afraid of danger? If I remember I am nothing, I will know the danger can take nothing from me. . . . Yes, I am afraid, because I forget that I am nothing. If I remember that I have nothing called my own that will not be lost anyway, that only what is not mine but God’s will ever live, then I would not fear so many false fears.”
I stand ready to fight even with these words. I am not nothing, I protest. I am so attached even to the thought of being something. I wonder if abstaining from meat on Friday is enough to teach me the detachment I need to learn. I have so much to learn.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.” (Ps 18: see 7)