The Simple Way: The Lenten Way

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Lent.” What do we make of it and how do we make the most of it? It’s simple and yet very effective. We must desire to love.

In order to give Jesus love for love, we must be souls of desire. Nothing great ever comes about without great desires. They are the mainspring, the driving force. If they are lacking, everything is dull and lifeless. We must desire to be not only good, but holy. Perhaps you will not know how to express these desires with ardor; the essential thing, however, is that you be filled with them.

Observe how in things of this world, things of earth, desires lie behind great successes. A businessman who wants to make money makes his plans and prepares his publicity in order to earn more. A painter who wants to succeed at the exhibition comes back to his painting and retouches it again and again. I knew a very great organist who, when he was preparing for the conservatory competition, spent entire nights at his pedal board. In the morning, he couldn’t even walk over to his bed!

What will Men not Do to Gain public Recognition?

How many steps — and sometimes, how many compromises! Yet all that is for a temporary fortune, a fleeting enjoyment, for the glory of a moment, a puff of smoke.

And you, called to partake in the intimate life of the Holy Trinity especially during this Lenten Season, to know God as He knows Himself, to love Him as He loves Himself — how sad it would be if you were merely to creep along in indifference! Routine, terrible routine, is the daughter of apathy. In order to rise out of mediocrity and lukewarmness, renew your desires.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me; let him drink who believes in me. To him who thirsts, I will give the fountain of the water of life, freely.”

Oh, tell Jesus that you thirst — that you thirst for Him! That you are making a special effort this Lent to surrender your mind and heart to His will. The great commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind,” is a calling for all.

Jesus is the profound example. He Himself, first of all, was the man of desires.

 “With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer.” 198 Sitio: “I thirst” — I thirst for your souls, I thirst for your hearts, I thirst for your sanctification. You whom I have filled, quench my thirst for love by your thirst to love me. “I have come to cast fire on the earth. And what will I, but that it be kindled.”

Let your desire to love Him, to be one with Him, be the response to His own desire to be yours.

The saints who have risen very high in Heaven arrived there on the wings of great desires. St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi had a vision one day of the glory of St. Louis Gonzaga. She was astonished: “How did this youth rise so high among the Seraphim?” It was revealed to her that he had attained this glory because, during his short life, he was consumed with the desire to love God and to be a saint.

To Desire to Love is Already to Love

A great desire to love is already a great love. In the same way that Jesus said to St. Augustine, “You would not seek me if you had not already found me,” He will say to you, “You would not have this great desire to love me if you did not love me already.” He cannot fail to fulfill, beyond even our greatest hopes, a desire that He himself has inspired.

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This article is adapted from a chapter in I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean C. J. D’Elbee which is available from Sophia Institute Press

Art for this post on Lent: Cover used with permission; Featured image used with permission of Pixabay.

With desire comes action. How should we act on this desire to love? click HERE.

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