If your time is spent with any type of media (the internet, television, radio, magazines, newspapers), you realize hardly a minute or page goes by without being consumed by an ad. We are continually told to buy more and more and more! Bigger house, faster car, better shoes… more and more stuff.
On the other spectrum, Ignatius’ spiritually speaks to the principle of detachment, letting go of all the attachments we cling to that prevent us from living a life of virtues and holiness. Even Pope Francis had much to say about the pitfalls of consumerism and self-indulgence.
Yes, disciplined detachment does mean getting rid of stuff and living with less. But it also means letting go gracefully of the past.
- As a parent, this may mean when your child goes off to college and you walk into an empty bedroom, or when your little girl becomes a teen and her boyfriend and husband-to-be replace you as No. 1, or when your little boy marries and you seldom thereafter see him who was your best friend.
- As an employee, this may mean retiring, perhaps losing a job, or playing your last game as a pro athlete.
- As a family member, this may mean saying a final goodbye to a special loved one.
Letting go, this human disciplined detachment is not for a sissy! Any elder will tell you letting go is a big-time challenge.