Readings – 1 John 2: 15-17 ; Romans 12: 1-2
from Pope St. John Paul II – Homily, World Youth Day Toronto, July 28, 2002, par. 2
Scriptures and saints like St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John of the Cross, and others have said that the three main enemies to the soul are the world, the flesh, and the devil. Focusing on the world, I know it’s a very shiny and enticing thing.
What do I mean by “the world”? In my own fallible words, “the world” would be the setting and aspirations by us human beings of matters that don’t ascend towards heaven–towards God. In other words, it’s the things and concepts that are only in and of themselves rather than pointing towards God. There’s no sense of eternity and communion with God for “the world” because it is finite.
If I’m focused too much on worldly things, then I’m not focused on Godly things. Do I love the world more than I love God?
If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.
These worldly things can be distracting towards my relationship to God. As I’m preparing for this Total Consecration, I need to be better at detaching myself from worldly things so that my soul is more conducive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit so that He may guide me to do God’s will.
St. Paul writes to the Romans, which is a good reminder for me:
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Do I allow myself to be transformed by God? Hmm. That’s what makes Christianity so great. We can be transformed if we allow it. We can be more pleasing and perfect. The best version of ourselves. For God.
St. John Paul II tells us:
Listen to the voice of Jesus in the depths of your hearts! His words tell you who you are as Christians.
I certainly know that it’s hard for me to listen to the voice of Jesus in the depths of my own heart when I’ve distracted myself with things not of Him. If I’m too concerned with worldly things, then I cannot hear Jesus calling to me. And it is through His call that I know how to be Christian. Well yeah, because that’s what He taught!
The point of doing a Total Consecration is to draw into a more loving relationship of communion with the Blessed Trinity. To love God more and to receive God’s love in a more profound way. The world wants to influence my priorities to this goal of being closer to God in a deeper way so it is important that I grow in virtue. To grow in happiness and joy through a closer relationship to Him.
Today I’ll fast from looking at non-work related websites at work as a tangible way to remind myself to not be of this world.
“The greatest deception, and the deepest source of unhappiness, is the illusion of finding life by excluding God, of finding freedom by excluding moral truths and personal responsibility.” Pope St. John Paul II, Homily, World Youth Day 2002
I’m using Fr. Brian McMaster’s Totus Tuus to prepare for Total Consecration. Get yours here on Amazon!