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Monday, December 30, 2002

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1 John 2:12-17
Psalm 96
Luke 2:36-40

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the first detachment?

"Do not love the world or the things of the world." —1 John 2:15

In traditional Catholic spirituality, we emphasize the virtue of detachment from the world's prideful desires, for "the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever" (1 Jn 2:17). Those called to the consecrated life are to be exceptional examples of the detachment from the world which all Christians should have. For example, Anna "never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer" (Lk 2:37).

In traditional Western materialism, we tend to emphasize attachment. Many of us want to possess a lot of "stuff" to the point that we are often possessed by our possessions. We can even put our possessions ahead of Jesus and walk away from Him in our sad possessiveness (Mk 10:22).

Contrary to popular opinion — we cannot serve God and mammon, that is, the things of the world (Mt 6:24), for, "if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 Jn 2:15). Tomorrow in the Western world is New Year's Eve. Traditionally in our society, many people give the first hours and the first fruits of the new year to the world. What will you do? Will you start the new year attached to the world and detached from God or attached to God and detached from the world?

Prayer:  Father, teach me to relate to the world as Jesus does (see 1 Jn 2:6).

Promise:  "I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one." —1 Jn 2:14

Praise:  For many years, Joan and her daughter Linda gave their first fruits of the new year by attending midnight Mass together on New Year's Eve.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Living Our Vocations on audio AV 113-3 or video V-113.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002