Free of Worldly Possessions

I was horrified when we watched a YouTube video during the pandemic on how to make a facemask.  The individual cut and destroyed a tee-shirt.  Other than books, my one material attachment is to tee-shirts.  Chicago Blackhawks championship shirts, a Saint Juliana Men's Club Golf Outing shirt, a Mark Grace Chicago Cubs shirt (he's the real 17), a Grateful Dead tie-dyed shirt, an Archdiocese of Chicago shirt, and so on.  I don't collect knickknacks and I really don't take pictures. The tee-shirt under my Roman Collar that I wear every day is the one way to "express myself," so the prospect of destroying one is abhorrent to me.  Cutting up an old pillow-case would have been more sensitive.

I am being somewhat facetious here, of course, but the idea of clothes and attachments (or, rather, detachment) makes one think of Saint Francis.  The beggar of Assisi famously stripped naked in the town square, returning his clothes to his father as a sign of his commitment to poverty.  Free of all worldly possessions he was able to be God's "instrument of peace." 

You will not find a Packers shirt in my drawer, nor an Eagles (both team and band) shirt.  I am not, like Francis and, in the words of Saint Paul, "all things to all." When we are free of objects and material attachments, and are pure conduits to God, we reflect his universality and best dispense his grace.

I do, however, wear a cross on a chain around my neck.  I received it when I was a child and have worn it since.  Interestingly enough, it is the San Damiano Cross and has the Prayer of Saint Francis on the back of it.  Perhaps I should look more to that cross than to my shirt to find my identity.

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