7th February 2014

The Gift of Desire

Let’s face it, when it comes to desires we are not lacking. We long for stability, we crave security and love, we aspire to success, we want to be valued and so on. We are a mixture of many inclinations, some good and others harmful. Although many seem to miss the point, Christian spirituality is all about desire: God’s desire for us and our desire for Him.

God longs to awaken this desire in us and our response is to cultivate this gift and not let it weaken or die out. We do this predominantly in prayer. Jesus appeals to our desire for happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind and heart with the words He told the Samaritan woman at the well:

If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
John 4:10

In seeking these things, we should end up finding Him whom He alone can satisfy our deepest thirst.

Admittedly, many people have buried this desire by running after things which ultimately do not satisfy (Isa 55:1-3). This is what the world around us spurns us on to.

And sadly it is also true of many professing Catholics:

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Jer. 2:13

Yet for those who turn to Jesus wholeheartedly, who set their vision on eternal life, who experience that the passion for caring for others is rooted in our passion for the Lord, there is a true joy. Yes we do experience setbacks, painful moments and suffering at times. But we also know that God ‘fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them’ (Psa. 145:19). The alternative is frightening: to be captive to a swarm of different passions and desires which end up leaving us empty, crowding God out and if we are not careful even jeopardising the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1:9).

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink
John 7:37

Try praying Psalms 27, 63 and 73 and ask the Lord to awaken in you the same desires expressed by the Psalmist!

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