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Saturday, 2 November 2013

What is detachment from venial sin?

In my long perfection series based on Garrigou-Lagrange and on the great Doctors of the Church, I have referred to the need for perfection in this life in order to go straight to heaven, a call for all people.

Today, on All Souls' Day, one can obtain a plenary indulgence for a soul in purgatory by fulfilling certain criteria found on the websites of the previous post.

But, I want to highlight one of the criteria for such a gaining of that indulgence-the detachment from venial sin.

Detachment is learned in the Dark Night of the Soul. This detachment is a complete rejection of the things of the world, the flesh, and the devil, which take us away from our goal of being one with God.

Detachment must be sought and willed. One cooperates with grace given freely.

This state of detachment is hard, but not impossible.

Working on one's particular, predominant faults helps one break away from detachment to venial sin. Those posts can be found in the perfection and dark night series.

But, one must understand what venial sin is in order to become detached. Venial sins are usually habitual sins, learned even in childhood. Such sins as lying, selfishness, vanity, anxiety (not trusting in God), negativity and judgement towards others (which is a common sin in Great Britain, unfortunately, almost a national weakness), eating too much, drinking too much, buying for the sake of buying, and so on.

It is possible to become detached. God gives His grace for destroying these detachments. But, one must cooperate.

I have found that surrounding myself with people who want to do the same is helpful, and that being around those who do not care to be perfect can be deadly. This is a challenge.

A great priest I know told me last year that to be around the rich and famous for a person he knew was a horrible temptation. The rich and famous, he told me, have so many attachments that it is a hard life from which to remove one's self.

I know a rich and famous person who has virtually become a hermit in order not to become involved in attachments to sin. She has overcome many obstacles in her family to try to strive for holiness.

Another person I know is working on attachments, but because of habits of attachment from years of great prosperity, this is a hard journey for him.

Another man I know in Ireland was a millionaire. He lost everything a few years ago, including his wife, who left him after his business failed. Now, he is an apartment maintenance man. God is detaching him. And, do not judge the homeless or those who have failed. God is working in and with them for their benefit and for yours.

Hopefully, this man is cooperating with grace. Daily mass and frequent confession help.

Cooperate with grace. Pay attention to those small warnings and ideas which come into one's head as reason helps us with the way of perfection. Those who are detached from venial sin gain plenary indulgences for others.

A good reason to strive for perfection.....