As Humans we all have a desire to be known and to be loved. It is written on our hearts. This desire is something that every single person on Earth experiences. It is at the center of all of our other desires. It influences every aspect of our lives. When someone talks about wanting to be happy in the future it is almost always having to do with whether they are known and loved in some way, may that be through a vocation like marriage or in their job by being successful, which to a lot of people equals being loved by many.
This desire stems from the fact that God created us to love and be loved. He created us out of love to love Him and those around us. That desire in and of itself is good. I’ve been reflecting a lot on it lately, though, and trying to wrap my head around how my desire is going to be filled. I have an overwhelming desire to be loved and cherished, to be known completely. I grew up dreaming of a man who would fill that desire, a husband. And now that I am potentially never going to experience that kind of love from a man I’m coming back to this desire and worrying about whether that desire can truly be filled without another human being in the picture.
I know in my head that the Lord is really the only person who can fulfill that desire. That’s true not just for those who He calls to religious life or priesthood but for every person. The Lord is really whom we are longing for. However, He calls some of us to love Him by loving a husband or a wife. And others are called to love Him alone. I know in my head that He satisfies, that He is all I need, but translating that to my heart has been a challenge.
The TORs pray the litany of humility every night before they go to sleep during night prayer. Since I’ve been in the application process I’ve been trying to pray the litany as well every night. Some weeks are better than others but I’ve gotten pretty good about praying it. The entire litany has been super challenging and there are honestly some nights I choose not to pray it because it’s too much. But in particular, regarding the topic of this blog, the second line sticks out:
From the desire of being loved, deliver me Jesus.
This line almost makes me question everything I said in the beginning of this post. But here’s the thing. I don’t think this prayer is about saying these desires are bad. The prayer is reminding us that there is more to life than being loved. The prayer is challenging because it is saying that there is more to life than me. It is saying there is more to life than my desires. It is calling the person praying to humility. And contrary to the dictionary definition of humility that doesn’t mean we think of ourselves as nothing. Humility is not about seeing oneself as worthless or lower than others. Humility is about knowing your worth in Christ and acknowledging that everything comes from God. Being humble means accepting a compliment and giving the glory to God for that gift.
And so, when it comes to the above line from the prayer, It’s not saying that the desire it bad. It is saying that I need to find my love in the Lord and be detached from the love from people. Being detached is not an easy thing to accomplish. Ultimately, it’s about being so in love with the Lord that nothing else is necessary. It means that nothing bad can happen because we have the hope of Christ. We know that even death is not the end. And because of that we need not be afraid. We need not be driven by the desire for love or for any other good thing, because we already know where we can be fulfilled ultimately.
Writing this makes it all seem simple and obvious. It makes it seem like I should have no problem getting this to stick in my heart. But, it’s just not that easy. The Lord loves each of us with an overwhelming all consuming love. We just have to let Him into our hearts and He will transform us. That’s why the litany of humility exists, to ask for God to help us. I’m trying to be open each and every day to the Lord so that He can help me to be content and even happy with Him alone.