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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

His desire for you…

January 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Meditations, Prayer

christ-in-massFor years, though I had been a committed Christian and enjoyed what many call a truly personal relationship with Christ, I had not really internalized the thought that God desired me; that he wants and longs for a relationship with me. The idea seemed odd that the great and holy God of our universe would have any sense of personal longing for a relationship with any human, let alone one as broken as me. Some time ago, a breakthrough came as I meditated on Luke 22:15. He was speaking to the disciples at the last supper – he was preparing for his own death by communing with them. He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer;”

God earnestly desired to be with his disciples. He had no need to be with them, yet, in his great love, he still had a deep and compelling desire to be with them. I realized at that moment that he had that same desire for me. And, he has that same desire to be with you.

The next time you pray, sit or kneel silently before him – put yourself in the seat of one of the disciples – you are after all, one of his disciples. See him speaking to you. Hear him say to you – using your own name – “_________ I earnestly desire to commune with you, to be with you, to speak to you, to know you and have you know me.” The God of love is calling your name. He specifically brought you into existence in order to love you and to be loved by you. Take a moment to stop and listen to his call – you wont regret it.

Seek Him – Find Him – Follow Him

Dan

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • LM

    Thank you so much for this post. I struggle greatly to understand that our Almighty God could love a person as unworthy as me and want a personal relationship. I struggle every day to do the best that I can (and try to be perfect although I know this will not happen in this lifetime) but truly am disappointed and anxious at the end of the day knowing that I have failed yet again. I pray that God forgives my mistakes, big and small, and ask for his help to do better the following day. With the grace of God, this wonderful website and good counseling during confession, I have gotten alot less scrupulous over the last year. Thank you and God Bless you for all of your work on this great site.

    • Dear Friend – thank you for allowing us to serve you and for your encouragement.

  • Guest

    Thank you Dan for yet another wonderful Post. To LM. This is what I got from my Spiritual Director – thanks to the advice from this Website. God treats us like a mother of a toddler who is beginning to struggle to walk. He watches you lovingly each moment, each day as you stand up, hold onto, say, a table, and then let go and try to catch the settee ahead of you. But , wow, you wobble and on your small seat you hit the ground!!!!!!. You begin to cry in fright, frustration and fear. He lifts you up, hugs you and holds you to His chest, dries your tears and at once all is well again. You forget you fell and in a few minutes try to do the same thing again. He will always be there to lift you up and His love bubbles always as He watches you struggle without giving up to live your Faith in fidelity. And with His Grace, be builds your trust in Him through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. When you realize how God personally loves you, and how precious you are in His eyes your conversion grows day by day. Mothers understand this very well. Since I got this advice, I am now able to relate to God lovingly, trusting Him in all my affairs and situations of my life. I especially thank Him for leading me to this Website. And once again, God bless you all on this Website. You will never realize how you help us in our Spiritual journey.

    • Jesusbpraised

      Beautifully said, Mary, god bless you.

    • Angela

      My spiritual director tells me the exact same thing! Bless you Mary.

  • wow… this morning i was contemplating changing my schedule from going straight to school to study in the library before class….as I always do and find to be a huge aid in getting good grades. I thought it might be nice to go to daily Mass instead, stay for the Divine Mercy novena then head to class. I think you just gave me my answer!

  • Gerard McMahon

    Your meditation today reminded me of that line from Mark: Mk 10:22 “Sell all you have: and come, follow me.” I know God wants me to go His way – to follow Him. But I continue to allow my ‘attachments’ to hold me back. I won’t make the great leap of faith, trusting that He will catch me. I remember the story about the monkey with the peanuts firmly in his grasp but unwilling to let them go, even to save his life!

    The Monkey Story (http://www.stmarysi.com/sermons/Mark%2010_22.pdf)

    To catch a monkey, you can cut a hole of about an inch in diameter in a butternut, and then hollow out the interior of the butternut. Let it dry out, tie it to a tree, and then put some peanuts in the calabash. The monkey grasps
    the peanuts and thus cannot withdraw his clenched paw through the
    hole. As you approach, the monkey will screech blue murder, and
    although it will not release the peanuts, it could do so at any moment
    and so be free. We all have peanuts we cling on to – whether the
    peanuts of loving the limelight, workaholism, material goods, or
    something else.

  • SME

    I have said a number of times that it is incomprehensible that the God of the entire universe is the God who longs to live in my heart. How could He love me so much? It is good to meditate on, and simply receive. If every person could receive this truth, it would cure most of our ails, as it flies in the face of and trumps all of the enemy’s lies. Lord, I believe. Please help my unbelief!

  • LizEst

    …and how dark the night of those who cannot see or hear him yet continue to be faithful to the Gospel. “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord” (Lk 1:45).

    As you indicated Dan, I think the key here is to take Jesus at his word, “I have earnestly desired…” Then we can rejoice in the Lord always.

    “God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior” (Is 12:2).

    Thank you Dan for this great post.

  • Woodycos

    Thanks for the great post Dan. Just as I was struggling with thoughts such as you spoke of, this came through and has helped to re-open my eyes and my focus. .

    • Thanks friend – I am glad it helped.

  • Ralyge

    This realization was a turning point for me. Love enkindles love. Do you have more practical recommendations for people who struggle with this or how to bring others to this point?

    • Dear Friend – your question is an important one. We will write a post on it in the future. The short answer is meditation. This post is merely the outcome of my own meditation. If you use the search function you will find posts on how to meditate in a way that produces fruit like this.

      • joan

        While this shockingly intimate, humble and noble love is an ever-present reality, it seems the awareness of it is something that cannot be achieved by effort. Although it is important that we make proper effort, it is through God’s generosity, not our effort, that we receive, no? If this idea is correct, it seems that certain methods may be helpful for us, but the understanding is granted by God irrespective of the means of prayer. I say this for the sake of those who find various prayer forms difficult and elusive, that they may not think that only meditation may lead to knowing God’s love. For me, a heartfelt plea, or a quiet marveling about some mystery has prompted divine answers. I felt I received these gifts because of my sincerely expressed desire and His kind generosity, not because I performed any particular exercise, or was even behaving well at the time (although I try). I would not want some to feel disheartened about communing with our Lord because they cannot pray a certain way. In my experience the important things have been any sort of sincere communication with God, and the humility to ask for something, rather than thinking we can bring it about with anything that we do.

        • Dear Joan – you are on target. Meditation is not the only way. It is however, the most common and effective for the most people… One note of caution. Prayer is, as St. Damascene says, “the raising of one’s mind and hear to God.” Of course, just as there are many ways of interacting with another person, so it is with God. Though meditation has “method”, its essence is not accurately described as a “method.” Its essence is a turning of one’s heart to God.

  • Patricia

    I started to write this and it just went so here I go again while going through an emotional and deeply painful experience some years ago I who had always thought of myself as strong and down to earth.heard locutions as I experienced an intense need to communicate with God. They were not long and drawn out conversations but unexpected isolated words.Like once when entering the church where a group was about to say the rosary in front of Our Lady’s alter as I walked into the Church and passed the Blessed Sacrament I heard the Lords voice coming from what seemed like a long distance but I knew it was Him.He said “Be of good courage I will strengthen your heart” then “God is pleased He is answering your prayers” ! I have to confess that surprised me as I never ever thought of God being pleased with me at all..I didn’t tell anyone I just knelt with the others and smelt a beautiful scent like roses.But the flowers were plastic I asked the woman beside me if she was wearing perfume and she said no.After the rosary a young Asian woman who had been praying at the far end of the alter rail from me stood up her face radiant she said she had seen Our Lady she was really there.I don’t think anyone else believed her but. I did, but still I said nothing.There were several other occassions of words spoken to me. .However I just wanted to say the thing that struck me most was that my name was spoken with such respect. It is that I like to remember the most. It is that I am remembering now.Thank You Lord . So I can relate to that beautifully The God of love is calling my name. God bless you.

  • Angela

    A book that I am reading now does a wonderful job of explaining this desire of Our Lord and how even we as sinful people can come close to console Him.

    It is called “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” by Fr Michael Gaitley, MIC. He does an inspirational job of synthesizing some of the most important spiritualities of the last 100 years — Divine Mercy, True Devotion to Mary, the Little Way of St Therese and a few others like Bd Mother Teresa and St Margaret Mary Alocoque.

    It is a little way for little souls. The main focus is the quote Our Lord said to St Margaret Mary: “Behold this heart that has loved men so much but is not loved in return.”

  • Seekingforgiveness1

    I commited several grave sins against my wife over the last few years and kept her in the dark. I have now revealed all to her and she is in a state of disbelief and shock. I firmly believe God made me bring it out in the open as he perhaps felt he needed to intervene now to save us as a family.
    My wife has forgiven me however she is yet to come to terms with the magnitude of my sins. She is in anger, pain and confusion.
    We are socially very conservative and thus cannot afford this to come out in the open for the shame it will bring on us.She is thus not in a position to talk about this to anyone else.
    What torments me most is that the social circle out there thinks of me as being this nice doting husband and father whilst my wife knows the real me.
    Many a time I feel like shouting it out to all these people that I am not what you think I am and that I am a sinner.
    I do not know what to do. I want to repent for my sins and provide my family with hope and a new beginning.

    • Dear Friend – have you met with a priest about this?

      • Seekingforgiveness1

        I have and he was very helpful in our initial days however as he understood the gravity of our issues he suggested we meet a marriage counsellor. Unfortunately we live in a place that has no access to such a facility. I am worried for my wife and how this will eventually pan out. I immerse myself in prayer and keep hoping God will show us a path.

      • Seekingforgiveness1

        Dan,

        is there an email I can get access to you?

  • Anonymous

    The mental image of seating myself at the table with Christ and the other disciples and having Him say, “(my name) I earnestly desire to commune with you….” is such a beautiful image for me to take to Adoration. Thank you, Dan!

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