Beneath every desire there is a greater desire that cannot be avoided; the desire for God. It is often hidden and buried beneath a whole list of other seemingly important things. If you simply lived your life without any reflection it would go unnoticed and you would enter the grave without ever realizing what your desires were trying to teach you. Yet once you realize what you really desire is God all your other desires become signs pointing towards heaven.
What do you really desire in food, money, clothing, a spouse, a job, popularity or anything else that is in your heart at this moment? These desires point to a fundamental need in our life for happiness, truth, acceptance, security and peace. Each one of these desires, however, cannot satisfy our ultimate desire, which is for God. After an expensive and delicious meal you are hungry again in a few hours. After a raise at work you buy what the world has told you that you need and yet in a few days you are still restless with the urge to buy more and more. After marrying who appears like the perfect spouse there is still a part of your heart that he seems unable to touch.
Are your desires misleading? No, they are just trying to tell you that your need in life for happiness, truth, acceptance, security and peace can only be fulfilled by God. Taking a vacation, enjoying a nice meal or receiving a raise at work are all good things. The problem is when we look to those things to satisfy us or use them as ends instead of means to something or someone much greater.
The next time you desire a nice meal it will be because you are most likely hungry. The next time you desire a vacation you are probably tired and deserve it. But don’t be fooled! There is something more, something much greater here in these desires. Do not stop here in this world where your desires seem to end. Follow them, for they will lead you to heaven, where all the things you once thought you really desired will disappear and you will stand face to face with the One who was hidden behind all these other things. When that day comes you will not be disappointed. Your desires will finally be fulfilled!
God bless you,
Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
St. Felix Friary, Yonkers, NY