Thought for the Day – 9 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Our desires may be vain or culpable or meritorious.
It is useless to long for the impossible or to base our desires on motives contrary to Christian resignation.
Happiness cannot be found on earth, so it is futile to look for it here.
It is much better to suppress these vain desires and to convert them into a longing for God and for our own perfection.
Some desires are blameworthy, for they spring from an immoderate attachment to worldly things, such as wealth or honours or even sin.
These desires are always sinful and can be seriously so, when they are deliberately directed towards e3vil objects.
Finally, however, there are desires which are good and reasonable.
Even Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, prayed earnestly to His heavenly Father, to take away from Him, if possible, the bitter chalice of the Passion.
But He added immediatel, “Yet not my will but Thine be done” (Lk 22:42).
When He was hanging from the Cross on Calvary, feeling crushed beneath the weight of our sins and utterly abandoned, He cried out in an agony of yearning: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46).
Nevertheless, He accepted with perfect self-surrender and obedience, all His sufferings, even His mysterious abandonment by His heavenly Father.
The Saints followed the example of Jesus.
Their lives were as full of longing, as they were of suffering.
But just as they offered their sufferings to God with generous hearts, so they offered Him their desires as prayer of supplication.
The Prophet David, yearned for mercy and forgiveness and his longing was expressed for all times, in the Psalm, “Miserere.”
St Teresa longed to suffer and to die for the love of Jesus.
When St Paul was labouring and praying for the salvation of his fellowmen, he desires “to depart ad to be with Christ, a lot by far the better” (Cf Phil 1:23).”