Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Heart Has its Own Desires

I was reading the Office of Readings this morning, as I do sometimes, except my ribbon was in Thursday. I was very struck by the reading from St. Augustine since it is so close to what we often hear in the CL movement.

Last night I read this striking passage from Fr. Carron from the International Assembly this past August: "We are possessed, penetrated to the last fiber of our being by this Presence, because we are made by Him, to the last tremor of our spirit, to the last feeling of our heart."

St. Augustine in his Treatise on John addresses the question of our freedom when faced with the answer to our heart's whole longings:
What does this mean, to be drawn by desire? Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. The heart has its own desires; it takes delight, for example, in the bread from heaven. The poet could say: "Everyone is drawn by his own desire," not by necessity but by desire, not by compulsion but by pleasure. We can say then with greater force that one who finds pleasure in truth, in happiness, in justice, in everlasting life, is drawn to Christ, for Christ is all these things.

Are our bodily senses to have their desires, but not the will? ... Show me one who loves; he knows what I mean. Show me one who is full of longing, one who is hungry, one who is a pilgrim and suffering from thirst in the desert of this world, eager for the fountain in the homeland of eternity; show me someone like that, and he knows what I mean. But if I speak to someone without feeling, he does not understand what I am saying.
I remember when I was young it was expressed as something outrageous that even religious people act out of self-interest. Later, I realized, well, of course. The difference is in the perception of what fulfills us. Sacrifice divorced from fulfillment is simple masochism. Activism without care for our own heart makes us infertile. We cannot change this seeking which is the infallible law of the heart, created by God for the purpose of finding Him. As Fred recently noted: "...I did hear Fr. Julián Carrón insist that the heart (reason) is an infallible criterion. He was careful to clarify that we typically misapply this criterion or fail to follow it. Now that's original sin!"

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