Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Greatest Desire

My youngest child is four and half, (excuse me four and three quarters.)  And she often tells me she loves me.  It is the greatest gift to me as a mother to hear my child speak those words and it often comes in a ritual banter that goes like this.

“I love you mommy”
“I love you more.”
“No mommy, I love you more.”
“That is not possible, Haley, my heart is bigger than yours.”  
Then one day after the usual back and forth my four and three quarters daughter said to me, “but Mommy, I WANT to love you more.”

That was a profound moment for me. A moment I realized that, that is all God is asking from me.  A desire to Love him more.  What a great desire.

This is the greatest of all desires: to LOVE God more.  To become less ourselves and to give God more of us, so that Jesus takes his place in us.   this is actually true humility.  Less of you and more of him.


I have another story for you about my children.  When my oldest son was young we would go to the Mall on Saturday’s to walk around and get out of the house but still be in the Air-conditioning. He Loved the fountains in the mall, and if we had allowed him, he would have spent HOURS just watching the water in the fountain, throwing pennies, and splashing with his hands.  

One day we were walking around Sears and he was riding in the shopping cart at Sears.  When it was time to leave Sears he did NOT want to get out of the cart.  I was mortified at the idea of wheeling the shopping cart through the mall, and I did not want to give him the idea that it was okay.  I knew just a few yards away from him, was the fountain.  I knew he WOULD LOVE THE FOUNTAIN.  I knew it.  I knew him.  I had been with him pretty much every waking minute of his life for nearly four years.  I knew what he liked and what he didn’t like, and I was frustrated at the situation where he was choosing something like a shopping cart, over something that I knew he would like much more.   And besides it was time to get out of the cart.

As I tried to convince my son to Trust me.  To know that something much better was on the horizon and it was time for him to let go of the cart.  I felt a profound voice in my head.  “EXACTLY KATIE.”    I felt like God’s voice was telling me to Trust him.   My God KNOWS me.  He knows what will make me truly JOY FILLED.  he knows what I am good at, and he knows what things I may need to work on some more.  IF I let go OF MY DESIRES  (shopping carts)  And TRUST HIS DESIRES for my life, (Fountains) I WILL NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED.  

Sometimes it might be difficult to walk away from the shopping carts in my life. Sometimes it might hurt, or feel like I am not getting what everyone else has around me.  BUT God’s Desires for me, the gifts that he wants to give me are ALWAYS going to be better than what I want for myself.  

Can I repeat that?  

God’s Desires for me, the gifts that he wants to give me are ALWAYS going to be better than what I want for myself.  

So I pray this prayer at different times in my life.

God help me to want, what you want for my life.  
God help me to want, what you want for my life.
God Help me to want, what you want for my life.

As my four year old reminded me earlier this year, God help me to LOVE you more.

Great desires.   The Desire for me to LOVE God above everything else.  And the Desire to only want what God wants.


Humility.  This is a big part of desiring GOD.

In a book I read recently called, "I Believe in Love" by Fr. Jean D'Elbee he says, "Listen to the Holy Father: 'The gate which is truly narrow, accessible to all, is that of humility.' The narrow way, the narrow gate, is for those who become again like little children.”  (I am not sure which Holy Father he is talking about, but that was a big lightbulb for me.)

I am going to say that again.   Because it wasn’t until I was preparing this blog post, that I think I actually heard this for the first time.  The Narrow gate.  The one we are all supposed to try and fit through.  The one that is basically the size of an eye of a needle.  The way to get through it, is to be HUMBLE.  To become Little.  TO little ourselves to basically nothing. 

Who does that sound like???

St. Therese.  HER little way.  SHE discovered the secret door to heaven.  She was the one who realized the trick to getting through the eye of the needle. 

Entering the gates of Humility was NOT exactly on my list of destination vacations.  The idea of allowing myself to surrender completely to God and to trust him in everything is incredible difficult.  The idea of letting go of what I sometimes believe is a pretty level head, and allow God’s almighty and all-knowing God Head to takeover is actually often pretty much against my human nature.  

But then again I don’t like my human nature very much sometimes.  It my human nature that causes me to stress about how every bill will get paid, how every kid will get into college, how every meeting will be attended, and how everything will get done.  

But then I know that God is the creator of the Universe and if he can create things like the human eyeball with all its rods and cones, and the Grand Canyon forged over millions of years using pretty much the same stuff that comes out of my faucet, surely he can figure out how to get my life in order.  

SO cast aside all of these other wants/desires/and preferences so that all is left of us, is the desires that God has for us.

My four and three quarters old daughter.  She gets it better than I do.  “I WANT to love you more.”


It also reminds me of the song, “Seek ye first the kingdom of god, and his righteousness, and whatsoever you ask I will do. Alleluia alleluia.”

I have often wondered about this song.  There were plenty of time when I thought I was seeking first HIS kingdom, and God didn’t do what I wanted.  

I wanted my mom not to die.  But I didn’t get it. 

I wanted my husband to become Catholic, and I haven’t gotten that either. 

But here is the thing.  Both of those desires were MY desires.  They are good desires if I can brag for a second.  It’s not like I am asking God for a million dollars or anything.  But please understand, they were still MY DESIRES. 

If we seek First God.  If we desire more than anything; God.  If we desire more than anything to “little ourselves” and allow him space in our lives to Grow.  The rest of our life’s desires fall into place.  They fall into their proper places.  Which is behind God.  Our greatest desires should be to love god First, and humble ourselves behind him. 

I certainly miss my Mom all the time. I wish she could help babysit my kids.  I wish she could host a luncheon for my daughters when they get married.  I wish that she was available for me to go shopping with, because Damn she was a great shopper!    

But she is NO DOUBT is in heaven.  I feel her presence all the time.  I feel her prayers for me constantly.  I hear her voice, sometimes audibly.  And this life, this earthly life is only a split second compared to our eternal life.  I know without question that God’ desire to bring my mother to him in heaven, even it was before I was ready, was a good DESIRE.  Even though it is not easy for me all the time.   I have my own personal Saint.  Well I share her with all of you who knew her, but she is OURS, and she is up there in heaven working miracles for each of us.

I have desired my husband who is a very enthusiastic southern Baptist to be united with me in my Catholic faith for YEARS.  Now this is a tricky one, because I can’t imagine HOW God’s desire for my life wouldn’t include this.  But the point is, I still need to let go of all MY desires, no matter how good I judge them to be.  And I really and truly pray that prayer again. 

God help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.  
God help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.
God Help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.

When you desire only God, God won’t just fulfill your needs, sometimes he provides for your wants as well.

The best part is that so often when I cast my desires away, (Humilty) and I focus completely on GOD’s desire, He often times presents me with gifts also often called Consolations.  Suddenly I am invited to take a trip around the world for a Catholic Youth Conference, and I can’t tell you how many times I have come across the perfect rug on Facebook Swap or at thrift store at a fraction of what I was planning to pay for it, there was even a time I bought a new couch, and hated it.  I felt so trivial, and I really prayed for God to help me like the couch more. (See that, I am praying to want what God’s wants.) Well a few days after I prayed that prayer the cushions started to frey and I was able to call the company and they allowed me to send it back and pick a whole different couch.  I know that sounds ridiculous but I really and truly believe God was consoling my couch woes.   I consider those gifts from GOD.  He knows what makes us happy and he will provide for ALL our needs, and quite honestly many of our wants as well!

The second luminious mystery is the wedding at cana illustrates this perfectly to me.  I think this is a perfect example of how if our Greatest Desires are ONLY  GOD’s greatest desires for us, he will take care of us better than we can even imagine.  

They ran out of wine people.  They weren’t going to die.  They weren’t going to starve.  The hosts were maybe going to be a little embarrassed, and a few staff members maybe would have been fired.  But in that instance, because our blessed mother instructed the servants to “Do whatever HE tells you” “or lets reword that to do “What he DESIRES” and they OBEYED, their empty wine skins were filled again.  Do what HE desires you to do, and your WINE SKINS will be filled as well!!!

Passing praise onto God

I am a normal human being though and humbling myself before God is not always natural. Giving up all earthly desires is a difficult thing for me.  Sometime I do things, and I feel entitled to a little something for myself.  

Does this happen to you too???  

For example: I tend to enjoy people praising me.  I like a good thank you note, and definitely get a little inflated when people have praised work I have done.  But here is the thing, And this is the really difficult thing.

The credit for a job well done is never mine. It belongs to my Creator.
The credit for a job well done is never mine. It belongs to my Creator.

If I write a good blog, should I praise myself?  NO, did I do anything to deserve to a brain that may be able to write words down in a positive way? NO God gifted me that brain.  I just have easily could have been born with half a brain.  

IF I am talented enough to make a beautiful dress for one of my daughters, should I accept praise for my amazing handiwork? NO, God was the one who gifted me with hands that can make amazing stitch work, and the knowledge to know how to do it.  (THIS IS HYPOTHETICAL)

If I were a great musician who played multiple instruments could sing like a nightingale, should I allow myself to be pumped up by my amazing skills?  NO God is the one who gifted me with those gifts, and quite often I had no choice in the matter than I was gifted these talents.  (Again, Hypothetical.)  

Sure I practice, and study, and hone these gifts into becoming something better than what they started as, but even the ability to grow into something great is a GIFT from God.

“Everyone who praises himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be PRAISED.”  (Luke 14:11)

Now if people praise me, I shouldn’t slap their praise down, and scold them for exaulting me.  NO, I should pass that praise right on to the one who deserves it most.  The God who created me.  You all might know people who if you say, great job!  They say, “Praise God.”  Isn’t that the humility God is asking for?

It also talks about in the book, how the majority of our hurts, offended feelings, grudges and bitterness in life, often comes from our obsession with our rights, this need to be esteemed, or praised.  If people don’t recognize our amazing-ness we get upset, right?  Fr. D’elbee points out that the ones who honestly put themselves in last place is not astonished when other’s put themselves there too.    The more humble you are, the more you desire ONLY what God DESIRES, the less you will care about other’s opinions of you.


Again, “everyone who praises himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be praised.”    He then talks about if we only recognized how much we gain by being humiliated, we would THIRST for those opportunities. 

Fr. Jean D’elbee writes that God always prefers the poor, the disgraced, the destitute and the needy because they are generally more humble.  I am imagining the seen from the Story of St. Francis wear he THROWS all of his RICH family’s belongings away.  St. Francis chose to be poor so that he could be humbled. So that he could ONLY desire what God desires.

St. Bernadette herself said, that if there had been a child more poor, and ignorant than she was the Holy Virgin would have chosen that child and not Bernadette.  

God help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.  
God help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.
God Help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.

My Four year old daughter:
God, I WANT to love you more.

Fr. Jean Writes  “Humilty is an Abyss which attracts TORENTS of Graces, which attracts Jesus Himself into a soul.  HE was not able to resist the humility of the prodigal son, the good Thief, or the woman of Canaan.  The VACUUM which humiliation makes in us when we receive it rightly is an emptiness which attracts Him irresistibly.”

When I hear that I think of Hurricane forced winds (Torents) of GRACES, literally Vacumming or SUCKING JESUS right into my soul.

Can you imagine that for me?   I will repeat the original statement, imagine hurricane forced winds of Grace sucking Jesus right into your soul.

Humilty is an ABYSSS, which attracts TORRENTS of Grace, which attract Jesus Himself into a soul.

Fr. Jean then talks about how a RAVISHING form of Humilty is Simplicity. 

NOW THERE IS A GREAT WORD.  Our world doesn’t really like the word Humble.  BUT WE LOVE THE WORD SIMPLE.

I think it is interesting again, that the God of the universe, A God so complex, so capable, so all knowing and all powerful, really at the root desires us to be simple.  

I think it is his way of saying, “Don’t WORRY.  I can handle this.  Please let me show you.”

Obedience is a big part of this humility too.  Remember back at the wedding of cana.  Mary tells us, “Do whatever he tells you.”  (I can put it in the word, “Do whatever he desires you to do.”   But then guess what friends, our part is to ACTUALLY DO IT.  Be obedient. If we are going to pray that prayer.

God help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.  
God help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.
God Help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.

Then when we hear God speak to us about HIS desires for our life, we should DO IT.

Sometimes it will be in the form of an idea.
“Katie, I want you to write a thank you note to that person.”
“Katie, I want you to put your phone down, and play with your children.”
“Katie, I desire that you stop worrying about everything on your plate and go visit with your husband.”
“Katie, I desire that you answer the phone when your long distant friend calls you.”

The last part of this conference Fr. Jean talks about how PEACE is the crown of humility.    PEACE was God’s first gift to humanity.  At the moment of the incarnation, the nativity, the Angels to sang to you and me, and all the people of the world. “Glory to God in the Highest, and Peace to people of Goodwill.”  And one of the last things he said on earth just before his Ascension, “Peace I leave you, Pease I give unto you.”

In the midst of the terrible storms in your life, when things have gone horribly horribly wrong, people who have surrended completely to God, those of us who have figured out that it is not my Will but HIS WILL that we desire, have experienced that super natural PEACE.  That peace that passes all understanding.  (Philippians 4:6)  The peace of knowing that something greater than ANY OF US, is in control, and that if our desires line up with his desires the ULTIMATE outcome will be the best outcome. 

We are released from trying to figure it out.  We are released from trying to be everything.  We are released from the pressure to be perfect in the eyes of this world.  


So in summary.

Just as my four year old taught me, “God, I WANT to love you more.”
Just as my son taught me, “Let go of the shopping carts in my life.”
Pray the prayer: 

God help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.  
God help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.
God Help me to desire ONLY what you desire for my life.

Humble yourself so that you can travel the NARROW way.


And you will have the PEACE that PASSES all understanding.

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