ON DETACHMENT (The
Be on guard on the things you left behind.
They have a way of catching up with you. Lack of grief shows you possess
them still in your heart.
I have seen men running away from the
madness of their bodies and enter the monastery and remain tormented by the
stirrings of the flesh. Such abandon the wide road, walk on the narrow, but
try to widen the narrow road.
This is the narrow way; this is
monasticism. It is the mortification of the appetite, night-long toil,
rations in food.
It is bearing dishonor, derision, mockery
and jeers. It is enduring opposition, suffering neglect, and putting up with
violent arrogance. It is being ready for injustice and slander. You must not
be angered by contempt and show humility when condemned. If you do these,
yours is the kingdom of heaven.
Detachment consists of three renunciations:
detachment from material objects and human relationships, from bodily
comforts and conveniences and from one's own will.
When our work of renunciation wavers, that
indicates the presence of the demons. Immediately take up the weapon of
prayer against them.
Whenever a loss grieves you, your are
attached to it. The monastery is the harbor for salvation or a haven for
destruction. To be saved, like Lot, free yourself and don't look back and
regret what you have left behind.
If you truly love God and long for heaven,
if your sins pain you, if you fear eternal punishment and fear a bad death.
. .then it is impossible to be attached or be anxious for anything; money,
possessions, family relations, worldly glory -- indeed, for anything of
All worries about one's condition and
health will be pushed aside. Stripped of all these concerns, one will turn
freely to Christ, looking up to heaven for help.
It would be a great disgrace if, after
answering God's call, we abandon the call to answer the call of the world
and worry about things that do not benefit our souls. "Do not look
Beginners are weak and tend to easily
return to the world when associating with worldly people. And there are
demons who concentrate on beginners, making beginners envy those in the
world and their seeming virtue. The devil's hostile aim is to make us return
to the world by a false humility or downright rebellion .
On the other hand, we must not disparage
those in the world.
If we truly wish to be good religious, keep
in mind that Christ described the worldly as "living dead"
who should bury the dead. Riches did not prevent the young rich man from
being baptized; but riches prevented him from being holy. The virtues of the
worldly are watered by vanity, blossom with love for show, and fertilized
with praises. They quickly wither inside the monastery.