Death as a kind of detachment

Today was All Soul’s Day, the day the Church reminds us of the dead who still suffer the pains of Purgatory. My other blog, The Four Last Things primarily concerns itself about such things, and you can read information of the day and Purgatory there.

Today’s Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours (or Divine Office) had a Reading from the writings of St. Ambrose, on the death of his brother Satyrus. There was a passage that may be of particular concern to those suffering from sex addiction, or any problems with lust and pornography. It can also be of use to anyone who suffers from other passions, perhaps impatience or excessive anger. Read on:

Office of Readings: All Soul’s Day: “We see that death is gain, life is loss. Paul says: For me life is Christ, and death a gain. What does ‘Christ’ mean but to die in the body, and receive the breath of life? Let us then die with Christ, to live with Christ. We should have a daily familiarity with death, a daily desire for death. By this kind of detachment our soul must learn to free itself from the desires of the body. It must soar above earthly lusts to a place where they cannot come near, to hold it fast. “

(Via Universalis.)

The mortality of our lives reminds us of our ultimate destination, and how comparatively transitory our life here is. The passions of our body, be they sexual or emotional, offer a temporary conquest of our frustrations. The sad emotional aftermath when we realize that we had fallen and the conquest was fleeting is the price we pay for focusing on the immediate satisfaction and losing sight of our ultimate goal.

Focusing on our mortality enables us to remember where we desire to end up for all eternity, and that our moral choices determine this. This focusing on death need not be morbid if we view death as just “our way home.”

It may help us arise from our need for immediate satisfaction or gratification of our passions and emotions.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"