A few days ago I heard the following story from a priest:
“I was preaching a retreat to a group of Missionary of Charity sisters. They did not want me to go easy on them and tell them how great they were, so I challenged them as much as I could. I told them that their temptations against poverty were not going to be buying a convertible or a big house. It would be that small box of stuff you keep next to your bed. It might be worthless, but it is ‘yours’ and therefore against the radical vow of poverty you have taken.
A few days later a sister came up to me and said, ‘I did it!’
‘What did you do, sister?’
‘I had a needle for the past two years that I kept hidden and used to patch and sew my habit. I am not supposed to have such a possession and I turned it back in to the superior.’”
Gives a whole new meaning to the words of Christ, “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” (Matthew 19:24).
I’ll try to remember that needle the next time I feel attached to my house or car or laptop or whatever it is that attaches me to this world.