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They say that love is blind, but that's untrue. Love is not blind. In fact, love is the most clear-sighted emotion in the world.

What is blind -- as one spiritual writer pointed out -- is obsessive love and over-attachment. This is why Christ told us not to be attached to any thing or creature of this world (only to God). From the Cross He even said, "This is your mother."

When we're over-attached, when we cling, we're not free and when we're not free we are not content.

Also, we are not at peace. (This is bad fruit.)

And the lack of peace may be the inner soul knowing that due to over-attachment -- bondage -- we are earthbound: not ready for direct entry into Heaven.

"What is an attachment?" asked this writer. "An emotional state of clinging caused by the belief that without some particular thing or some person you cannot be happy." Also, it is idolatry.

In fact, if you have God, you're always happy. Happiness is not in the future; you have all you need to be happy (with God) in the now. When Jesus said, "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple," He didn't mean we should actually hate our relatives but detach from obsession (Luke 14:26).

Don't we all go through this? How many confuse clinging with love?

And how much tension and anxiety and (at funerals) morbidity are the result?

Did you ever stop to think of how many ways over-attachment to something or someone has prevented you from spiritual growth and contentment? When we're overly attached -- to people, to ambitions, to fears, to possessions -- it is like tethered by a cord plugged into an outlet that dispenses the energy of tension -- electricity, as the devil fell in a bolt of lightning.

We fear. We have anxiety. We become confused. (These are signs of evil.)

Many ask how they can find peace. There are a number of ways. One is by seeing truth through love. This is also metanoia. We see truth -- we're most honest (as a priest recently pointed out) -- when we are detached and also often when we are going through pain or trials or sacrifice.

Think about it this Lent: Pain or sacrifice parts the shroud and clouds -- the fog -- of unkowing. Sacrifice unbinds us. It puts us above the flesh. What was hidden is revealed. Aren't we most honest when we're in pain, when we're sacrificing -- when there's a trial?

So often, pain brings honesty and the same clarity as detachment when we sacrifice well. And when we learn from suffering, we don't have to repeat it (or go through an even greater trial). Penance, penance, penance.

If you haven't started a fast this Lent, it's not too late.

Suffering parts the clouds of unknowing while judgment -- judging others -- causes a wall between us and the truth, including the truth of who we really are. This is very important: to get back to the real you, the "you" God created, not the you that you created to please the world. The real you comes in humility that like fasting and love brings the tranquility of metanoia and detachment "I am who I am." Be only that. Judgment brings the opposite. Often we are not really judging others but our perceptions of who others are, and this is pride and falsity.

We reach peace when we maintain a free and non-judgmental and compassionate and detached soul. We also reach peace when we finally accept that life on earth can not be paradise. "Your should always be ready for every eventuality," said Saint Juan de Bonilla (see: Searching for and Maintaining Peace).

"And your heart must not be enslaved by anything.

"When you form some desire, it should not be such as to cause you to experience pain in case of failure, but you should keep your spirit as tranquil as though you had never wished for anything. True freedom consists in not being attached to anything. It is in this detachment that God seeks your soul in order to work His great marvels."

"Peace is born of humility," said Saint Francis de Sales. "Nothing troubles us but pride and the esteem that we have for ourselves."

Peace grows within us as we develop compassion (for everyone). Have compassion for all and you will see through new eyes.

When you make mistakes, move on. When it's not a perfect day, smile (and sail beyond that). Adjust to circumstances. Don't sweat the small stuff. Offer it up. You see how it all comes full circle?

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past," says Isaiah 43:18.

"None of the thoughts that render us anxious and agitated in spirit in any way comes from God, Who is Prince of Peace," said Saint Francis de Sales. "These are temptations of the enemy and consequently one must reject them and not take them into account. One must everywhere and in everything live peacefully. If pain comes to us, whether internally or exteriorly, one must receive it peacefully, without wincing because of it. Must one run from evil? It must be done peacefully, without being troubled, otherwise, in fleeing, we could fall and give the enemy the leisure to do us in. If one must do good, one must do it peacefully, otherwise we will commit many faults in our eagerness. Even in matters of penance, one must do it peacefully."

 [resources: Searching for and Maintaining Peace]

[see also: timeless secrets of happiness]

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