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Life's NeedsOur happiness depends on how we use the things God has given us. We need to use them in a heroic way, with a "divine indifference" that creates a balance between attachment and detachment. We are dependent on things to survive: we need housing, transportation, food, and clothing, and all of this needs to be acquired by our work. Our society also creates a series of "needs," things that make our lives easier, which we believe we can not live without. So this divine indifference is very difficult to achieve, for we tend to cling too much to material possessions, and we no longer trust divine providence. We cease to believe that the Father cares for each one of us. We cannot live without material things, but we can create an attitude of independence towards them. We can also create an attitude of independence towards physical comfort, honor, esteem and sensory pleasures. It does not happen overnight; it requires training. In the same way that an athlete trains his body to participate in the Olympic Games, we must train our spirits to be masters of divine indifference. Fr. Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement, said that he had only survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp where he spent more than three years because he had trained his spirit to endure adversity all his life. We do not know what we still have to do in our lives, what difficulties we need to overcome, so a soberer lifestyle is always an excellent option. Today we see a youth who cannot stand the slightest annoyance; an ugly face is a reason for divorce; a low score on a test is a cause of suicide. This is because during childhood and adolescence, children have had obstacles and frustrations removed by those responsible for their education. Without overcoming obstacles or suffering frustrations, a person does not mature and does not know how to deal with it in the future. Thus, the sooner we begin to voluntarily deprive ourselves of some pleasures and comforts, the easier it will be to create that independence and we will see that we will be satisfied with very little. It could be simple things, like bathing in water a little cooler than we would like, to skip eating that dessert after lunch, walking to the bakery instead of picking up the car, giving up one day watching your favorite series, and so on. There are innumerable small renunciations in the day-to-day that will make our character strong and increase our capacity to withstand the adversities of life. Trust in divine providence teaches us to do all we can for the health and safety of our family, but to be willing to give up everything else, if God allows it. We need to believe that God will only ask for our good, which ultimately is the salvation of our soul. We can teach our children this kind of detachment through our attitudes. For example, do not lose patience if the internet is too slow or if we need to change what we had planned for the day. Children will slowly learn to overcome their own frustrations and become more detached from the world to become more attached to God.
Prayer of Abandonment (Blessed Charles de Foucauld) Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures – I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul: I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.
Copyright 2018 Flávia Ghelardi
About the Author
Flávia Ghelardi is the mom of four, a former lawyer already "promoted" to full time mom. Flávia published her first book FORTALECENDO SUA FAMÍLIA and is a member of Schoenstatt´s Apostolic Movement. Flávia loves to speak about motherhood and the important role of women, as desired by God, for our society. She blogs at www.fortalecendosuafamilia.blogspot.com.