Inordinate Attachments – Part 2 of 4

Father Geiermann continues his discussion of inordinate attachments:

Concerning comforts, Father Geiermann recalls Christ’s remark: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests: but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head” (Matt 8:20). Geiermann writes: “As pilgrims on our way to eternity we may enjoy the comforts of our station in life without forfeiting our claim to heaven. But to be attached to the comforts of life is not merely childish and enervating, but may be very sinful and even subversive of our temporal happiness. Attachments multiply our wants and cares and lead to bitter disappointments.”

Concerning pleasures, he writes: “As worldly pleasures usually consist in the gratification of the senses, we must deny ourselves many of them and detach our hearts from all of them to be true followers of Jesus Christ. There are pleasures on earth that are divine, and should be the object of our solicitude. To possess the truth, to do the right, to practise religion, to follow our vocation, to be at peace with God and man, and to do God’s holy will, give a pleasure that is a foretaste of heaven. Even some pleasures arising from the gratification of the senses, as lawful recreation and relaxation, are perfectly legitimate as long as we do not form an inordinate attachment to them. But to dissipate both time and energy in the pursuit of pleasure is a deification of the carnal man and a foolish search for heaven on earth.”

Concerning relatives and friends, he explains: “Relatives and friends are bound to us by bonds which we should respect and cherish. But we are bound more intimately to God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, and so should not permit love for relatives and friends to come between us and Him. Such love would be that inordinate attachment which Jesus condemned when He said: ‘He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt 10:37).”

Quotations from Peter Geiermann, The Narrow Way (New York: Benziger, 1914).

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