07 February 2012

Comment of the Day

From Jesuit. (No word on whether or not I need a disparity of cult note to publish this.)

...Your post seems to indicate that God is the only source of desires and that all of our desires are, at least, permitted by God if not caused by God. According to Ignatian spirituality this is not the case. Our desires emerge from a complex interaction of the free self, the good spirit, and the evil spirit. The promise that God will give us the desires of our heart follows on the imperative that we delight ourselves in God (Ps 37). There are certainly disordered desires and incompletely discerned desires that plague us all the time. These desires might not be fulfilled, and possibly should not be fulfilled. For instance, a man might have a mighty and holy desire to marry a certain woman, but unless the desire is reciprocated the reality will not, and should not, be fulfilled. Another example, a man might have a strong and holy desire to become a priest, but he cannot discern this on his own. Like marriage, the decision of a man to be a priest is a common discernment between him and the Church. Since it is not in his power to make himself a priest, he can only discern his side of the equation. The desire to be a priest can emerge from many places, but the discernment to be a priest is a process guided by the holy spirit acting in the realm of possibility and community. Desires have to be discerned if they are to be translated into action or attended with expectation. The existential angst that emerges from disordered, incomplete, and difficult to discern desires is a natural part of the finitude of our human existence, and accepting that fact might be part of our true freedom. New spiritual growth comes when we abandon the project of perfect control and utter self-transcendence and delight in God with a simple kind of joy that can purify and rightly order our desires. We can only trust that our desires flow from God when we are confident that we are delighting in God--the absolute horizon who orients and grants eternal perspective to our desires. 

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