"How clear the way! How obvious the obstacles! What good weapons to overcome them! And yet, how many times you go astray and how many times you stumble! Isn't it true? That fine thread - a chain, a chain forged of iron - which you and I know about and which you don't want to break: that is what draws you from the way and makes you stumble and even fall. What are you waiting for? Cut it...and advance." (St. Josemaria Escrivá)
Here Josemaria Escrivá is tackling one of the most serious distractions to the spiritual life: the heart and its attachments. If one is to take their spiritual growth seriously, he taught, the heart must have Christ as its first love and not be tied down with too much human consolation. Yet he also believed that being detached did not mean being cold-hearted, but instead, quite the opposite - it meant keeping room in one's heart for all:
"You're afraid of becoming distant and cold with everyone - you want so much to be detached! Get rid of that fear. If you belong to Christ - completely to Christ - He will give you fire, light and warmth for all men."
While he no doubt intended most of these comments for his priests, they are applicable to all. If we sincerely love Christ above all else we aren't chained to our passions; we can die to ourselves in the occurrences of each day and become detached from pride, greed, lust, ego, etc. When we cut the ties that bind us to our own obstacles in the spiritual life - and a sincere examination of conscience will bring them to light - we can finally make progress. May we break the thread that binds us to the world and let our hearts soar to Christ.
St. Josemaria Escrivá, pray for us!