It’s rather odd the way we despise the things that we desire. We love a good night’s sleep but despise our bedtime when it actually comes ’round. We love finishing a project early but tend to procrastinate. Truthfully, the reason for these conundrums is our distaste for discipline.
“But to the wicked God says:
In my own spiritual journey, I’ve had my moments of despising the Cross. I prefer binges on Netflix, video games, and food to my work, prayer, or relationships. Yet every time I gave full force to these temptations and pursued only selfish pleasures, I’d find myself in an earthly kind of hell. A place where I was comfortable, pleased, and had everything I wanted, yet felt dead. I would be distant from God, others, and myself. Although Love is what my heart desired, I’d learned to trade it in for simple pleasures. This is the story of every sinner, addict, and stoic.
“What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.” –
What a blessing then discipline, i.e. suffering, can be for us. Running out of money and food isn’t something we’d consider a “blessing”. But, for the Prodigal Son it forced him to come to his senses and return to Love. Imagine if his life remained luxurious: he likely would’ve missed out on Love. To pull a quote from my current favorite sci-fi show, Debris: “You can spend a lifetime hiding from yourself what you truly want.” And it’s all too easy for us to hide from the Love of God because we prefer to avoid discipline. We become the Perpetually Prodigal Son. Let us FIGHT against this temptation. Let’s not be like that. It’s not worth it.
This, then, is the wonderful, challenging, baffling, and beautiful paradox of Christ. He calls us to lose our lives to find it; to die in order to live.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”
This is a message that sin doesn’t understand, but the repentant sinner does. A life filled with selfish pleasure is devoid of all peace. A life focused on personal gratification, seeking personal pleasure, is a life unsatisfied. A life of service to our beloved Lord is our true heart’s desire. A life of self-gift is the only path to happiness.
What’s the first thing you should go discipline yourself?
When my pursuit of sin has left me bruised and battered, it is Silence that has soothed my wounds. And yea, silent communication seems like another paradox, but lovers understand the power of a kiss. And you need to stop talking in order to do so! Silence is the kiss of the Holy Spirit. It is the language of God in your heart. Silence is needed from film, video games, friends, and family. We must have silent time with Christ in order to hear his voice.
Like all disciplines, it may be tough at times, but it yields the sweetest of fruit: communion with the Trinity. Turn everything off and chill with God every day. Start small like a child, and let God mature you in Silence. And let’s help each other to this end.
“If I could prescribe only one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence.”