1st Sunday of Lent 18.2.18 Desire
The body and soul are not meant to be in conflict with each other, but there is conflict, because of some wrong turnings people have made.
The first sin broke the order of things, and from then on the lower would rebel against the higher, and this is all around us now.
When the physical order is pursued as the highest good we have a major breakdown in the system. Even in ourselves we find no peace and calm my soul may win because my body craves to sin.
We crave for forbidden pleasure when the allowable pleasures are enough, by far, to fill us with joy. We don’t need anything forbidden but we go after it all the same.
We ask the Lord to help us in this Lenten season. He had perfect balance between body and soul. He did all this for our sake.
He was teaching us, and at the same time enabling us to operate at the higher level, which He would set.
All who come into harmony with Him will share in that new order whereby desires and objectives will come back into proper order.
We will take on a more spiritual view of reality and therefore restore what was lost. What was lost at Eden is coming back.
The fasting, and other penance we do, atone for our sins and set straight what was crooked. When we sin we grasp what is not ours; when we fast we are giving back what is ours, a kind of reversal. This is symbolic largely, but it will make a real difference.
Unfortunately the world, infested with sin, does not take Lent seriously, nor Fridays, nor any call to repentance.
This is itself the result of sin, and the weakness that comes with it.
The world trumpets pleasure and its pursuit, going from one thing to another, no time to think. For the world it is Mardi Gras all Lent, indeed all year.
The world achieves some deeper insight, for instance in valuing human love, but setting that as the highest goal still falls short of God, and cannot yield complete happiness.
It takes discipline to look further all the time, and not just sink into the present moment, but if we can look further we will discover a great deal.
If we add prayer to fasting we will start to sense God's presence more strongly and we will find new horizons opening. We will not necessarily have a change of life situation, just a higher quality of love and wellbeing.
We are not leaving the real world, just making the world more real.
We can fast from sin too. We learn to hold back, not necessarily doing the first thing that occurs to us.
This is the whole principle of holiness. The Cross comes before, and leads to Resurrection.
And of martyrdom: Take my life and give me a better one.
We are encouraged to want more. Restrain from earthly things, yes, but when it is a matter of spiritual goods, then the more we want the better.
God wants us to have this desire and it will be fulfilled, if only we can override the false and misleading desires.
We can take control of a large part of this, not just drift, nor be buried in the world.
We are putting back what has been broken. May the Lord complete His healing work in us.