“The hope of truth and of freedom is already ours, dearly beloved, but if we are to attain truth and freedom in reality we must endure and persevere.” St Cyprian
What are your greatest desires? Do they consist of happiness and love?
St Ignatius’ spiritual discernment focuses on the things that bring us life and closer to God. God places deep desires within us, which align with His will for us in our lives. Our deepest desires may be found in a number of things. They may be seen in the smiles of your children, your spouse, your grandmother, a parent, friends, nature, even the most soothing sounds. It is in these things which bring life to our spirit, drawing us closer to God, that sync us to hearing God in our lives.
I invite you to pay attention to all things that make your heart smile.
As I write this, I am sitting outdoors, listening to the sounds of nature surrounding me. Peaceful surrender to what God wants me to hear and understand as I sit and write. Nature usually is my go to place to surrender and hear God speak to my heart. It’s a place where I can get in touch with my deepest desires. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the life surrounding me that draws me to the life of God within me.
In several of my recent posts, I’ve referenced the song by Tauren Wells, “God’s Not Done With You.” This song has so much meaning packed in it. Today as I listened to it, I began to contemplate my choices in my life. I have always been very practical and safe in making decisions, yet many of my choices led me down paths that may not have been very practical and safe. As I listened to the song, I realized that my choices make an imprint on my story, but God is still the author of my story. God will take these imprints and continue to write my story. To ever think He is done with my story would be spiritual detriment, spiritual hopelessness.
As we endure and persevere in our lives, God gives us hope. This hope leads us to freedom as we surrender trust in Him, allowing Him to author our story despite our choices. I always like the image of the shattered piece of pottery that has been glued back together and placed on display as a beautiful piece of art. I can imagine the broken pieces in my story being glued together and transformed into something even more beautiful than it was before. I could claim that I was the one who mended the pieces together, but I know the artist was God and it was His hands that picked up each piece, felt my sorrows and gently placed them together with the bond of His love. Even in the broken pieces, God transforms our desires into reality.
He creates a masterpiece through our desires that He has planted within us, a desire for Him – to love and be loved. God’s desires for each of us is written in our hearts and they are revealed in many different things in our lives. Openness and awareness are the only requirements from us. As we unveil our deepest desires, we feel God’s presence and understand His will.
In a few posts, I’m sure I’ve mentioned often how my spiritual director will ask me if something I’m discerning brings me life. If we follow the things that bring us life, we feel most connected to God’s presence. Why? Because these are our deepest desires that come from God. When we are discerning, this is the path that is most aligned with God’s will – and the story He is writing, MY STORY AND YOUR STORY.
I invite you to ask yourself, what are my deepest desires? What makes you feel most alive in your life?
“Whatever you are doing, that which makes you feel the most alive…. that is where God is.” St Ignatius of Loyola