15 Catholic Saint Quotes on Attachment & Detachment To Help You Let Go

quotes on attachment and detachment

In the pursuit of sanctity, one of the most difficult virtues to attain is the virtue of detachment. These quotes on attachment and detachment are meant to inspire you to do your best to detach from this world.

What are Attachment & Detachment?

Detachment in the Catholic sense, simply means indifference, whereas attachment is the opposite.

Although it can be a good thing to take pleasure in wholesome and/or holy things, we should never become so attached to worldly things, that we are extremely distressed when we lose them. This pertains to both creatures and things.

Yes, is is possible to be too attached to people, as well as things! Remember we’re speaking of inordinate attachment. Of course we should love our friends and families.

When we no longer have these detachments, we are detached from them. We must always, strive to rid ourselves of any sort of inordinate attachment to worldly things.

As Jesus said in Matthew 6:

“Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through, and steal.  But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.”

Douay Rheims Bible

May these quotes on attachment and detachment inspire you in your pursuit of detachment.


15 Catholic Quotes on Attachment and Detachment

  1. Give me ten truly detached men. and I will convert the world with them.” ~St Philip Neri
  2. “If they be faithful and seek no satisfaction in creatures, they pass from pure suffering to the pure love of God. But the fortunate souls who succeed thus far are very few.” ~St. Paul of the Cross.
  3. “God doesn’t ask that we succeed in everything, but that we are faithful. However beautiful our work may be, let us not become attached to it. Always remain prepared to give it up, without losing your peace.” ~Saint Teresa of Calcutta 
  4. “If ever you have a fit of sadness or trouble, remember that it is because you are still attached to life, or health, or some comfort, or person, or thing that you ought to forget and despise that you may desire Jesus Christ only.” ~Saint Claude de la Colombiere
  5.  “Be brave and try to detach your heart from worldly things.” ~St John Bosco
  6. “If you purify your soul of attachment to and desire for things, you will understand them spiritually. If you deny your appetite for them, you will enjoy their truth, understanding what is certain in them.” ~St John of the Cross
  7. “Whatever a man loves he inevitably clings to, and in order not to lose it he rejects everything that keeps him from it. So he who loves God cultivates pure prayer, driving out every passion that keeps him from it.” ~St Maximos the Confessor
  8. “How are you to meet the swarm of foolish attachments, triflings, and undesirable inclinations which beset you? By turning sharply away, and thoroughly renouncing such vanities, flying to the Saviour’s Cross, and clasping His Crown of thorns to your heart, so that these little foxes may not spoil your vines.” ~St Frances de Sales.
  9. It is a reasonable consequence, that he who runs after perishable goods should himself perish.” ~St Teresa of Avila
  10. “Let us suppose that someone’s house or field has caught fire. The person who wanted to save himself fled without anything as soon as he noticed the fire, leaving everything in it and concerned only with his own life. But someone else thought he would take some of the goods with him, so he stayed behind to collect them; and as he was taking them the fire, which had already overwhelmed the house, caught him as well and burnt him. In this way, through his attachment to some transient thing, he was destroyed in the fire by his own free choice.” ~St. Symeon Metaphrastis
  11. “In the evening of life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works…” ~St Therese de Lisieux.
  12. “For true devotion must issue from the heart, and consist in the truth and substances alone of what is represented by spiritual things; all the rest is affection and attachment proceeding from imperfection; and in order that one may pass to any kind of perfection it is necessary for such desires to be killed.” ~St John of the Cross
  13. “Many, however, gives themselves to God, but preserve still in their hearts some attachment to creatures, which prevents them from belonging entirely to God.” ~Saint Alphonsus Liguori 
  14. “Humility cannot exist without love, and love cannot exist without humility. It is impossible for these virtues to exist except where there is great detachment from all created things.” ~St Teresa of Avila
  15. “Jesus does not want us to be attached to possessions, to human honors, to creatures. He asks humility. But His love and His generosity make this detachment less difficult and less cruel to our nature. Nothing else matters to me anymore, nothing has any value for me but Jesus, no place, no thing, no person, no idea, no feeling, no honor, no suffering, nothing that can turn me away from Jesus. For me, Jesus Himself is my honor, my delight, my heart, my spirit, He whom I love, what I love, my home Heaven here on earth. Jesus is my treasure and my love and Jesus crucified is my only happiness.” ~St. Bernadette Soubirous 

More Reading on Detachment

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