Desire

Here’s a link to an essay on Huffington Post by Rev. James Martin, S.J., a Catholic priest and a Jesuit. I’ve read Rev. Martin’s work before and I find myself agreeing with him more than with any other Catholic writer I’ve come across.
This piece is titled Desire and the Spiritual Life. The central theme is this: “Recognizing our desires means recognizing God’s desires for us.”
Desire is as much maligned in the liberal religions as in the conservative ones. The conservative religions denigrate sexual desire, while the liberal religions denigrate material desire. As Rev. Martin points out, both are legitimate, and when kept in moderation, both are healthy.
The key is to separate the deep desires from the surface desires. This can be difficult, as Rev. Martin acknowledges. I’ve found prayer to be helpful here. It is one thing to watch TV or surf the internet and say “I want that!” with all the maturity of a three-year-old. It is quite another to stand before the Divine and contemplate what would truly bring us satisfaction – what we are called to be and do.
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