Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Thought for Wednesday 4/24/13

“The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”  1 John 2:17

“Desire” is a difficult emotion to pin down because disciples must think in terms of what “desire” is leading us toward.  Everyone has needs, legitimate needs; but we must always be on guard against trying to fulfill these legitimate needs in illegitimate ways.  We must also understand those needs from their source.  What need are we seeking to fulfill and why?  This determines the difference between “lust” and “love” because “lust” seeks self-fulfillment; “lust” always has an ulterior motive.  “Love”, on the other hand, seeks the well-being of others.  “Love” gives of itself with no mind toward getting something in return.  “Love” will empty itself completely just as our Lord literally bled to death upon the Cross.

St. John is pointing out that “lust” is self-destructive.  Because “lust” can only feed on itself, its source will soon be spent and will dry up; there won’t be anything left.  “Lust”, then, becomes predatory and must ultimately destroy in order to feed itself.  “Love” does not seek to feed itself but seeks to feed others.  When we give of ourselves, we find much more given without our even having to ask.

The Church must get past the notion that “lust” is purely about sex or that “lust of the flesh” is strictly about coveting a neighbor’s spouse.  “Lust” causes us to withhold ourselves, our gifts, our talents, and our treasures from the Church in favor of a nicer car, a nicer home, a grander vacation, a remodeled kitchen, etc.  “Lust” causes us to withhold from our spouses and our children because we prefer something else.  “Lust” convinces us that we can be righteous and selfish at the same time.  “Every object of our lust is the beginning of a lie”  (Love-Dare, day 24, pg 117).

What we desire, what we truly desire, has everything to do with our relationship with our Lord and His Church (and no, these are not mutually exclusive; one cannot “love” the Lord and “hate” the Church as the Body of Christ.  “Lust” says otherwise.).  If it is our genuine desire to do the will of God and glorify His Most Holy Name, we will think beyond ourselves and toward something much greater than even our spouses and our children (“For if you love only those who love you in return, what good is that?”).

We must not concern ourselves with any “reward” but should rather be concerned about and focused on the work at hand.  Done in the name of our Holy Father, the rewards will come soon enough.  If we can believe this, then – and only then – can we say truly trust our Lord.


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