Faith & Politics, Appetite & Desire

Today at Mass I was praying for all on my list, and also praying for the nation, the president, Speaker Pelosi and so forth. I thought to myself: “she strikes me as someone in whom everything has been burned away except political appetite.”

But then I considered that the same statement can be true about so many of us who are “political junkies.” The old nag began within me again: when do our ideologies take over to the extent that they become our idols?

It’s a valid concern.

And then -because God works in Mysterious Ways, indeed- I opened my Magnificat (if you do not subscribe, you should consider it) and found this meditation for the day:

The idea is for us not to control our appetites at all, but to allow them full rein in the wake of an uncontrolled appetite for God.

It is important to take seriously the implication of our beatitude that there really is an appetite for God, and for his righteousness. We too easily speak and think as if righteousness resulted chiefly from the curbing of our appetites, as if our appetites were only for sin. But strictly speaking we have no appetite for sin. What we experience as an appetite for sin is a sick appetite which has mistaken its object. In moments of despondency we may perhaps look around and think that we should be much happier if we gave up trying to be good, if we could enjoy all the vices of the world around us. But that is only a fantasy. The desire for goodness is really a much more robust desire than any alleged desire for evil. . . We must be content to grow slowly toward goodness, taking, if need be, a long to time convalesce. Most of us, maybe, will still be barely at the beginning of our recovery even when we die. But that is better than killing ourselves pretending to be healthy. . .

St. Thomas says desire is the faculty which receives, so that the bigger our desire is, the more we can receive . . . Our part in this life is to learn to want largely and earnestly enough to make us capable of the infinite rightness of God’s Kingdom. . . The more we try to tame and reduce ourselves and our desires and hopes, the more we deceive and distort ourselves. We are made for God, and nothing else will really satisfy us.

So we must allow our innate appetite for infinity to dislodge us whenever we are inclined to settle down and call it a day.
— Father Simon Tugwell, O.P.

Amid all that is going on around us,
lets chew on that, today.

I’m heading out to a niece’s birthday party, and won’t be online much so if you’re commenting and it gets held up in the moderation queue please be patient.

And let us pray! :-)

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