Our Deepest Desires

Pentecost B
Acts 2:1-11 / Galatians 5:16-25 / John 20:19-23

What are your deepest—
deepest desires?

What do you want most out of life?

It’s a great question, isn’t it?

It’s a great spiritual exercise!!!

Discovering our deepest—
discovering our most authentic desires
is part of our great spiritual tradition.

It’s important because when we
find out what we really, really want—
we find out that’s what God wants for us too.

Those deepest desires within us—
that’s the work of the Holy Spirit.

St. Ignatius of Loyola was quite the character.

He was a former knight—
he was arrested a time or two—
he got into many a bar fight—
and, as he himself suggested,
he had committed just about
every mortal sin imaginable.

Well, convalescing in his bed after a war injury—
Ignatius had time to
Reflect on his past life—
and what he wanted for his future life.

He discovered his deepest and holiest desires.

And through reflection and prayer and discernment—
He realized that his desire to be a great knight—
to be a great ladies’ man—
to live a life of frivolity
weren’t—deep down—
his deepest desires.
His deepest desires, he discovered—
was to be a great saint—
like St. Francis—
like St. Dominic—

His deepest desire
was to know and love and serve Jesus—
to give great glory to God.

That’s the work of the Holy Spirt—
placing those desires deep—
deep within us.

Desires that—
using Thomas Merton’s terms—
lead us to our true selves—
and away from our false selves.

What are your deepest—
and most holy desires?

Here’s one way, suggested by Ignatius—
to get in touch with our
deepest and most holy desires.

Spend some time each day—
each day—
to reflect—
to go deep inside ourselves—
and discover our deepest desires.

Write them down—
Claim them—
Pray over them—
Ask the grace to achieve them—
Ask for the grace to become your true self.

Here’s a list on my latest. (prayer journal)

Every morning I try to do this.

I call this section my movements toward God—
it’s the Holy Spirit leading me to my true self.

I desire to know and love Jesus more than anyone—
and to make Him loved—
(I got that one from St. Therese)

I desire to love others and
help others—like Jesus.

I desire to never do anything that harms Him.

I desire to speak—
I desire to preach what He wants me to preach.

I desire for us to be the best parish in the nation—
I desire for us to have the best campus
ministry program in the nation.

I desire to be a great priest—

I desire to be a great son—

I desire to be a great friend—

I desire to take better care of myself.

Now I’m not there yet—
Not by a long shot.

But that’s where I desire to be—
that’s where God desires me to be—
and with God’s grace . . .
with God’s grace . . . One day . . . One day

That’s the work of the Holy Spirit!!!

What are your most holy desires?

Now I also have a section right under
my “movements toward God” section—
called my “movements away from God” section.

What are some of my not so holy desires?

It’s important to know those too.

Here are some of my latest:
The desire, the pull, into negativity.

The desire, the pull, into being judgmental.

The desire, the pull, into not being
charitable toward some people.

The desire, the pull, into my own agenda—
not God’s agenda.

Not of these are from God–
They are not the work of the Holy Spirit.

What are some of your not so holy desires—
Write’ em down—
Pray about them.

I just got back from our
priest convocation at St. Meinrad.

The topic was on prison ministry—
and the speaker was a man named Dale Recinella.

Dale is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School.

He went on to work for
Ford Motor Company in Detroit—
and then moved on to Tallahassee, Florida
where he worked for the biggest law firm in the nation.

He did big work for the state of Florida—
He did big work on Wall Street.

He had made it big!?!?!

He had 5 children—
a devoted wife—
he was making big, big money—
he was living in what he called “a McMansion.”

Everything was going great
until one day he got sick—
really sick.

Some incredibly virulent bacteria
had invaded his body—
no antibiotics were working.

The doctors told him to get his affairs in order—
Prepare to die—
You’re not going to make it.

As Dale slipped into unconsciousness—
he had a near death experience—
and he met Jesus.

And according to Dale,
when he met Jesus—
Jesus wasn’t smiling—
He was weeping—softly weeping.

Dale said he didn’t feel like Jesus was judging him—
But that Jesus was disappointed in him.

Jesus reached out to Dale—
And said,
“What have you done with the gifts I have given you?”
“What have you done for my people who are hurting?”

Dale pleaded his case with Jesus—
I provide for my family!!!—
I work hard!!!
I’m successful!!!

Jesus would have none of it:
“What have you done for my people?”

Dale asked Jesus for another chance.

And to everyone’s surprise—
Dale woke up the next morning to
see the face of his smiling wife.

Now, he had some decisions to make.

He felt called to prison ministry.

So that’s what he did—
he started doing prison ministry on the side.

One of the prisoners he got to know
was a man who had a very traumatic childhood—
and ended up killing his grandmother—
with a hammer.

Dale worked and worked with the man—
and introduced him to the
all loving and all forgiving Jesus.

And it changed the man’s life
when he got to know this Jesus.

And as you can imagine—
no one—
no one in his family wanted to
have anything do with someone who
had killed his grandmother with a hammer.

The man never had one visitor while he was in prison.

So Dale was all he had—
Dale told him he was part of his family—
Part of God’s family now.

One day the man told Dale that he
had only a few months to live—
he was dying of Hepatitis C.

Dale had previously told him that he
had a family cemetery where he and
his family would be buried.

The dying and forgiven murder
asked Dale if he could be buried with his family.

And after consulting with his family—
they all said yes.

Now the forgiven one is buried right beside
where Dale will be buried.

So in his discernment—
when Dale was trying to discover his deepest desire—
He asked this question!!!

If I quit Wall Street,
how many deals will not be done?
There’s plenty of Wall Street lawyers.

But if I don’t do death row prison ministry,
how many people would visit them and
minister to them.

None was the answer there too.

Dale had discovered his deepest desire.
Dale had discovered his true self.

Over 20 years now—
Dale had ministered on death row—
Full time.

That’s the work of the Hoy Spirit!!!

St John of the Cross says that
the more that God wants to give us something—
the more God makes us desire it!!!

That’s the work of the Holy Spirit.

What are your deepest and most holy desires?

Holy Spirit 5/19-20/2018

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