Joyful Hope

| | Comments (1)

One of the things I love about In Conversation with God is that it seems to have so much ebullient hope and so fervent an exhortation to those souls (mine among them) wasting away in sloth. Take the following example:

from In Conversation with God Fourth Week of Easter--Monday
Francis Fernandez

We could each ask ourselves: have I a true desire to be a saint? The answer would most assuredly be in the affirmative: yes. But our reply should not be as to a theoretical question, because for some holiness is unattainable, something to do with ascetical theology--but not a real goal for them, a living reality We want to make it happen with the help of God's grace.

So longs my soul for thee, O God We must start by making the desire for holiness flourish in our own soul, telling Our Lord: 'I want to be a saint'; or at least 'When I experinece my softness and weakness, I want to be a saint'. . . .

Consider then how vehement our desire for holiness has to be! In Holy Scripture the prophet Daniel is called vir desideriorum, a man of desires. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all were worthy of such a title! The first thing that souls must do if they embark on the path of holiness is really to want to be saints whatever may come, whatever may happen to them, however hard they may have to labour, whoever may complain of them, whether they reach their goal or die on the road.. . . .

Therefore, we shoujld examine our conscience to see if our desires of holiness are sincere and effective. . . This examination could reveal the reason for so much weakness and apathy in interior struggle. You tell me , yes, you want to. Very good: but do you want as a miser longs for gold, as a mother loves her child, as a worldling craves for honours, or as a wretched sensualist seeks his pleasure?

No? Then, you don't want to.

I love this passage because of its entire tone--the hopeful answer 'Yes', when to all senses and sensitivities the very present, evident answer in the world today is "Absolutely not, I want what's mine by right." And those who side with hope are right. Whether we recognize it or not each of us has a longing, a yearning to become a saint, to spend every moment with God, and at the same time to serve Him by bringing Him to those who do not know Him. This desire manifests itself in many ways. Pick the thing that fills the empty spaces inside: power, money, sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, shopping, cleaning house. You name it and just about anything can and has been used as a substitute for God. When I don't want to face the reality of the call to holiness and sanctity, I have the marvelous opportunity to retreat into the depths of gourmandizing or other sensual pleasures. This is the lure of the good things of the world. Used rightly, they lead most directly to God; used wrongly. they anesthetize the soul and give "sweet oblivion." It is too easy to end up worshipping the creature and not the creator.

But we all do long for holiness, just as God longs for us to draw near. He goes through the most amazing convoluted gyrations to seek us out; but Love knows no boundaries and constantly seeks the good of the beloved. All of my reading in recent days points to God and says, "Look at Him. This is the goal, this is the end, this is what gives life meaning." Outside of God everything, even all the good things are meaningless, empty, ashes and dust. With God at the center, all that is good and beautiful takes on the right proportion and perspective.

Bookmark and Share


Do you want it as much as a miser longs for gold? Ouch! O Lord, may I desire and work towards holiness as much as a miser works for gold!



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 3, 2004 10:06 AM.

Hearing God in the Everyday was the previous entry in this blog.

Prayer Requests 5/4/04 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll