The Advent of our Desire

The Internet is a remarkable place.  Going through Facebook this evening I came across a video that I found quite moving.  The video looks to assist people in their job discernment.  The narrator asks us to ponder what we would like to do with our lives if “money were no object?”  What I found most striking about the video is the last line.  “…It’s so important to consider this question… what do I desire?”

That line is important for all of us, not just those searching for help deciding upon a career or life path.  Each and everyone one of us desires something.  We desire to be loved.  We desire the affection of another.  We desire to be wanted.  We search and search for fulfillment.  We look in all the wrong places.  Ultimately each and everyone of us desire God.  God himself has written upon each of our hearts the desire for himself.  Consider St. Augustine’s oft quoted line “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, O Lord.”  In God alone can we find the fullfillment that we so desperately long for.  That fulfillment comes to us as a child this Christmas.

Holy Mother Church, in her goodness has given us this wonderful season of Advent to prepare for the coming of that fulfillment.  I wrote in my last post of my desire for Advent to hurry up and get here.  Now I want it to slow down and stay for a while.  I’m not ready for Christmas.  I’m not ready to have my desire met.  I need more time to prepare myself for the coming of the Prince of Peace.  I need more time to make peace in my own life, in my own heart.  This has been made abundantly clear to me as I’ve been going around assisting with confessions these last few days – at the local Catholic high Schools and at my parish as a part of our Advent Parish Mission.  The more and more I hear confessions, the more and more I find myself wanting to go to confession.  I went yesterday during the parish mission, joining my parishioners on the confessional line (admittedly – I went first, so I could help hear them!).  Absolution is a wonderful thing.  Peace.  Joy.  Freedom.  As we journey from the Confessional and towards the Manger we will truly be able to welcome the advent of our Desire – Christ the Lord.

I pray that we are all able to make the best of this holy season.

Fr. James Martin, S.J. wrote about Advent and desire a few days ago over at American Magazine.  It’s wonderful, go read!

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