AMORSECOS

_MG_9199This reflection is based on Mark 6:7-13.

I remember reading a short story when I was first year high school. Written by C. V. Pedroche, a Filipino writer in English, it was called “Amor Seco.” The only thing I recall about the love story was that its intriguing title referred to a species of wild flower with a peculiar characteristic. If you walked through a field of amorsecos, the flowers would cling to your feet and clothing. I suppose the amorseco was intended to be some kind of metaphor for the protagonists or their love, especially since “amor seco” in Spanish literally means “dry love.”

Today’s Gospel reminded me of the amor seco because of Jesus’ instructions to his disciples to “take nothing with them” in their mission. He is quite explicit about what they can bring with them: only sandals and a walking stick; no food, no sack, no money, not even a second tunic. In other words, travel light.

It’s a counsel fit not only for missionaries, but also for every Christian. St. Ignatius of Loyola reminds us that we have been created to “praise, reverence, and serve God” so that everything else on earth is but a means to help us fulfill our purpose. For this reason, we should prefer health to sickness, honor to dishonor, long life to a short one if and only if these will be more conducive for us to reach our end of giving God glory.

It is, of course, easier said than done. The world is a virtual field of amorsecos, and walking through it, we can’t help but accumulate things from this world that automatically cling to us. And the worst part? We ourselves can’t help but cling to them: possessions and riches, honor and social approval, people and relationships, power and control. As a result, we end up allowing them to define us, and before we know it, we are not exactly “taking nothing with us.”

I remember when I first entered the novitiate so many years ago. My sixteen companions and I were still reeling from having made the life-altering decision of leaving our previous lives. Many of us had given up ambitions, careers, and a diversity of alternative dreams to give religious life a try. But just one day after our entrance, our novice master gathered us in the conference room and invited us to begin a life of simplicity by asking us to surrender our toiletries: soap, shampoo, etc. When he sensed reluctance in the room, he said, “You have given up so much of your life to follow the Lord, and now the evil spirit will work double-time to make you cling to unimportant things like soap and shampoo. Let go, and spare nothing in your self-offering!”

It’s not easy to travel light when you’re walking through a field of amorsecos. It is so easy to get distracted along the way, and we often end up forgetting our true and final destination. Today might be a good time to ask ourselves: Which of the following attachments is the hardest to give up for you? Possessions and riches? Honor and social approval? People and relationships? Or power and control?

What is your amorseco?

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5 thoughts on “AMORSECOS”

  1. Yes!! I think I got many of these “Amorsecos” in my life.But what to do when my time is up and I got nothing of these to bring.Maybe at this moment in time I got to learn and detached myself from them before it will be to late and difficult.I have to get my Beloved Jesus to help and teach me to let things,places and persons go from my life.If ever these “Amorsecos” are here and now maybe just be happy with them while am still breathing my temporary life…Amen

  2. The “amorsecos” in this materialistic world represent the temptations that if we don’t resist will draw us away from the real purpose of our existence, that is to emulate and follow God’s teachings. The more that we fall for these allurements and acquire earthly riches, the more that we forget the lessons of humility, compassion, and love for fellowmen making it extremely difficult for us to enter God’s kingdom. As pointed and given a paramount importance in the gospel, we should let go of these temporal possessions and tread down the path of righteousness with only the Lord in the center of our hearts for us to make sure that we will be with Him for all of eternity.

  3. This reflection fits in perfectly with my own thoughts at the wake of a beloved relative. Just recently, I listened to a sermon about being prepared for judgement day which can come upon us like a “thief in the night”. It all boils down to the same thing: letting go of things we cannot bring with us in death and instead, live a life that will earn us an entrance ticket to the gates of heaven.

  4. For me, people and relationships are the hardest to give up, especially when you love someone so much. And when you are in your confused state of mind, you’re not willing to listen from someone giving you pieces of advice. You feel incredibly alone and helpless as if nobody is going to say the right thing, unless they encourage you to keep fighting for your relationship. Why is it so, Father?

  5. My amor seco is my pride. Often than not, I’m reluctant on accepting other people’s point of view when it go against mine. I am fervently praying to God that He help me triumph
    against this clinging to self serving disposition of mine and overcome my insecurities.

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