“If you yearn inordinately for the good things of this life, you will lose those which are heavenly and eternal. Use temporal things properly, but always desire what is eternal. Temporal things can never fully satisfy you, for you were not created to enjoy them alone . . . for your blessedness and happiness lie only in God” (Thomas a Kempis )
It is difficult to place our thoughts toward the eternal. Absent of faith we cannot succeed in being present to that which most endures and to where we find most fulfilment.
When we arrive at the point of recognizing that nothing temporal can satisfy us, we can begin an honest search for the "more" we were created for.
Perhaps then the life of the soul also becomes more relevant. This relevance helps us flush out the yearning to pursue only the things of this world. Willingness to dive deeper into the mystery of our purpose, through God’s grace, inevitably leads us to find Him....
Lent has begun.
On day two of our intended fasting we may be filled with great vigour and motivation to see our sacrifices through to Easter Sunday.
It is fitting for us to evaluate what moves and motivates our fasting. Often I think the greatest grace of Lent is our failure to adhere to what we have promised, or at least the struggle and encounter with our own limitations.
This wrestling has a way of inviting us to deepen our reliance upon the Lord. This struggle helps us to be humble, and all sanctity proceeds from there.
If we are honest with ourselves before God and take seriously this call to spiritual renewal then our Lenten journey will be one filled with many blessings for us.
To recognize that our human strength and endurance is only as good as our trust and surrender to God, is the way we begin to cultivate our temporal reality and gain(s) appropriately.
The Gospel today reminds us again of denying ourselves. It seems this message can never be too repetitive, for our will and flesh perpetually call us away from anything that does not feel good to us. “The most solid pleasure in this life is the empty pleasure of illusion” (Giacomo Leopardi)
Jesus asks us today "What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” This is a good meditation for us as we evaluate where we place emphasis and worth.
Let us pray for an increase of faith and trust in God. May we yearn for things eternal and employ the good things of this life to bring glory to God. (CC)