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A reflection for Advent: The desire for desire

Glimpsing God’s invitation even in the faintest traces of desire.

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Sometimes in life, you might find yourself lacking the desire for something you want to desire. Let’s say you are living in a comfortable world with scant contact with the poor. You many say, “I know I’m supposed to want to live simply and work with the poor, but I have no desire to do this.” Perhaps you know that you should want to be more generous, more loving, more forgiving, but don’t desire it. How can you pray for that with honesty?

In reply, Ignatius would ask, “Do you at least have desire for this desire?” Even if you don’t want to do it, do you want to want it? Do you wish that you were the kind of person that wanted this?” Even this can be seen as an invitation to God. It is a way of glimpsing God’s invitation even in the faintest traces of desire.

James Martin, “Advent is about desire” in Goodness and Light: Readings for Advent and Christmasedited by Michael Leach, James Keane, and Doris Goodnough (Orbis Books)

Reflection questions:

1. What do you want to desire? 

2. Is there a difference between what you desire for yourself and what God desires for you?

Published: 
Saturday, December 10, 2016