Wisdom of the Saints about detachment (part 4)


“If material things please you, take occasion from them to praise God, and turn your love from them toward Him Who made them, lest in these things that please you, you displease Him.” St. Augustine of Hippo (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)


“Whatever you possess must not possess you; whatever you own must be under the power of your soul; for if your soul is overpowered by the love of this world’s goods, it will be totally at the mercy of its possessions.  In other words, we make use of temporal things, but our hearts are set on what is eternal.  Temporal goods help us on our way, but our desire must be for those eternal realities which are our goal.” Pope St. Gregory the Great (6th-7th centuries, Doctor of the Church)


“May the fiery and honey-sweet power of Your love, O Lord, wean me from all things under heaven, so that I may die for love of Your love, Who deigned to die for love of my love.” St. Francis of Assisi (12th-13th centuries)


“Realize that after the angels, man excels all other creatures, and that in no way must we forfeit our dignity on account of sin or for the sake of an inordinate desire for corporeal things which are beneath us and made to serve us.” St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century, Doctor of the Church)


“The more lowly He seemed by reason of His poverty, the greater might the power of His Godhead be shown to be… For this reason did He choose a poor maid for His Mother, a poorer birthplace; for this reason did He live in want.  Learn this from the manger.” St. Thomas Aquinas


“I have what God wished me to have, and I want no more.” St. Germaine Cousin (16th century)


“The truest happiness to be found in this earthly life is when we are satisfied with only what is needed; the one who is not satisfied with this, will never be satisfied.” St. Francis de Sales (16th-17th centuries, Doctor of the Church)


“He chose to be poor in order to teach us by His example to despise earthly blessings; and thus to enrich us with heavenly blessings, which are infinitely more precious, and which last forever….Let us rest assured that God alone can content us, but He does not fully content any but those souls which love Him with a whole heart.  And what place can the love of God find in a heart that is full of this earth?” St. Alphonsus Liguori (17th-18th centuries, Doctor of the Church)


“Today millions of men and women consider that their happiness is destroyed if they must get along without a few things of which their grandfathers had never dreamed.  Luxuries have become necessities to them; and the more things a man needs in order to be happy, the more he has increased his chances of disappointment and despair.”  Ven. Fulton Sheen (19th-20th centuries)


“The poor in spirit are those who are so detached from wealth, from social position, and from earthly knowledge that, at the moment the Kingdom of God demands a sacrifice, they are prepared to surrender all.” Ven. Fulton Sheen


“Don’t forget it:  he has most who needs least. Don’t create needs for yourself.” St. Josemaria Escriva (20th century)


“’Divitae, si affluant, nolite cor apponere’ – ‘If riches abound, set not your heart upon them.’  Strive, rather, to use them generously – and, if necessary, heroically.  Be poor of spirit.” St. Josemaria Escriva