today we celebrate the feast of St. John of the Cross, the great
16th-century teacher on spirituality and a Doctor of the Church. John
famously said that the soul is like a pane of glass. When it is clean
and clear, the light of God shines through it, but when it is smudged
with attachments, it blocks the divine light.
did he mean by attachments? Attachments are anything in this world,
including your own life, that you are convinced you cannot live without.
Money, fame, power, privilege, the esteem of others, material things,
your own survival—any of these become attachments when we cling to them
in order to protect or foster our egos. They become our masters and we
become their prisoners.
what do we do? How do we move from attachment to freedom? We have to
realize that everything is a gift. Your being, your life, your body,
your powers of mind and will and imagination, your accomplishments—all
of it is a gift from a gracious God. When we realize this, we know that
nothing is owed us; we have no great status to defend. Then we can live