Meanne M. Mijares
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mathew 19:21-24)
A few days ago, we celebrated the feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. It was only now that I have found out that he was the de-cluttering expert long before Mari Kondo stepped into the spotlight of fame with a best-selling book and a Netflix show tucked under her belt.
According to his article in Alteia,org, Philip Koloski, in St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, “Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in the end for which he is created.”
He instructs modern-day Catholics and Christians alike “From this it follows that man is to use [material things] as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid one’s self of them so far as they hinder him as to it.”
From this point of view, St. Ignatius would encourage us to tidy up our homes by examining each piece and asking whether or not it helps them come closer to God. Honestly, this is always hard to distinguish or understand, on the other hand, the opposite is much easier to ascertain. When thinking about a certain thing, there are particular belongings that can easily be categorized as an obstacle to our salvation, or prevent us from developing a very close personal relationship with our Lord Jesus.
Well, for some of us, this may mean surrendering many things, while for others, it may not be that much or hard. There are no cookie cutter answers available for all of us, and it takes cautious sensitivity to work out at a suitable choice.
According to the article, “The key for St. Ignatius is a particular “indifference” to created things. It requires a detachment from the things of this world, realizing that eternal life is much more important.
Many people throughout history have also heeded the words of our Lord Jesus to heart, giving away many of their surpluses to the poor and needy, only keeping for themselves what they absolutely need. And I believe is one of the best ways for atonement. And if I may add one more tip, that after the de-cluttering pray and go to confession then resolve to live a good life in step with God.
So yes, tidying up spiritually and physically is a good thing every now and then, I must say, a very important action we Christians have affirmed with immense enthusiasm for many generations and times to come.