The Arrow of Desire


Flos Carmeli: Chains of Desire

I refer you back to this poem--published here previously. Today I delivered a talk to the Carmelites of my region gathered for a day of reflection on "St. Teresa and St. Ignatius." And I glanced at this poem before I spoke. Though it did not influence anything I said to those in the room, it did spark a thought I wanted to share here.

Desire is an arrow to God. God gave us this faculty for the express purpose of building in a homing signal. Our desires are disordered in this world, but all of our desires amount to one desire if we open our eyes to see it. Everything we want, everything we lust after has, at its core, one end--peace and security.

Desire, seeking peace and security, points directly at God even if we cannot see through the veil of things we want more than Him. As much as desire points the way, we thwart desire because we are afraid of what it will mean to want Him more than anything.

Desire points the way home. It misleads us, it betrays us, it confuses us. But it is the homing signal and it can be trained to truly home in on the One Thing Desirable.

Desire is good and honest and true, and we misuse it and pervert it and warp it, and yet we can never take away from it that if we learn to follow it truly, we will find the way home.

Desire is an arrow to God. It is a faculty for our good. It teaches us how to see Him, if we allow it to work with grace.

Our desires can overwhelm us, but not if they are directed as they should be. If we desire Him more than we desire anything else in the world, then desire resolves into the rocket to heaven.

I go on too long. But we must learn to train desire to seek the direction home, and then trust the Holy Spirit to carry us there.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 29, 2005 7:22 PM.

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