An ascetical term signifying the withholding of the affection from creatures to fix it on the Creator. Creatures may be the occasion of mortal, or of venial, sin. The first case determines the detachment necessary for salvation; the second, what is required as the foundation of the higher life. Beyond these is that of the highest perfection, carried often to renunciation and actual privation, imitating through love the perfect poverty of Jesus Christ.

New Catholic Dictionary

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