November 24, 2012

Living With Holy Desires

Today, as secular as we have become, we need prayer more than ever.  In the midst of a superabundance of material conveniences or else in their felt absence, we forget that we are spiritual beings at our own peril.  We must not define ourselves by the things we possess or do not possess.  We must not allow the pace and noise of the marketplace to suffocate us.  There are deeper and holier desires that haunt the human heart - desires that drive us beyond our limited accomplishments and compel us to look out onto those new frontiers where the mystery of humanity touches the creative force of God's love.  We must order our lives so that these desires are not only protected and nourished, but also unleashed.  Such desires unleashed by prayer avail us to the fullness of life that the Lord longs for us to know.

From Pope Benedict XVI's General Audience of November 7, 2012

We are pilgrims, heading for the heavenly homeland, toward that full and eternal good that nothing will be able to take away from us. This is not, then, about suffocating the longing that dwells in the heart of man, but about freeing it, so that it can reach its true height. When in desire one opens the window to God, this is already a sign of the presence of faith in the soul, faith that is a grace of God. St Augustine always says: “so God, by deferring our hope, stretched our desire; by the desiring, stretches the mind; by stretching, makes it more capacious” (Commentary on the First Letter of John, 4,6: PL 35, 2009).