We're starting a St. John of the Cross study at church for Lent and last night's meeting briefly talked about our need to detach from the things of this world and to quiet our appetites for anything other than God, in order to be in true union with Him and ultimately satisfied.
And I know that I've been really attached to the selling of our house. Lot's of people are. I'm not quite sure how to balance it - praying for it to be sold, but still having an attitude of detachment about it. Sometimes I think that once the house is sold, my life will be so much better. But Jen touches on this in her post this morning,
"As I’ve said many times before, one of the most shocking truths I discovered when I converted to Christianity was that autonomy is not the path to happiness. The golden calf that I spent most of my life worshiping turned out to be a dead idol. I always thought that the secret to a fantastic life was to optimize on getting as much autonomy as possible so that I could do whatever pleased me, whenever I felt like doing it. Boy was I surprised when I found out that that kind of life left me amused but not deeply happy, and that the only source of real happiness — of joy — is God. And you only need to glance at a crucifix to be reminded that God is the God of self-sacrifice."
Maybe once the house is sold, I might be a bit happier. I'm sure the financial relief will feel good. But the financial burden it puts on us now is not what's stealing my joy - the amount of attachment I have about our circumstance is the real culprit. I give that house so much weight and so much control over my emotions. I go 'round and 'round in prayer - my friend Rebecca helped me identify this in my own life - from "God, I know you'll provide," to "Thank you for this struggle and the graces we've received from it," to "Ok, that's enough now, I've learned my lesson. Please get rid of it." But 5 years from now we could be crazy wealthy, or with no debt. But if I haven't figured out (by God's grace) how to detach myself from the things of this world, then my joy will still be incomplete.
Today my prayer is that every time the phone rings, I won't think, Is that our agent with an offer? or What's the problem, now? Today my prayer will be, God, lead me to true joy, however You'd have me get there.
Even as I write that, I'm anxious about what that however will be.
I have a long way to go, huh?
And now I must finish laundry so we can actually wear clean clothes for our trip to LA. And hopefully I can find some fun stuff to do for St. Patrick's Day and the Solemnity of St. Joseph - traveling always puts a small kink in celebrating the liturgical calendar, even though our families enjoy being Catholic, too.