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True Desire: Life Lessons From a Trappist Monk #11

God only knows what the deepest meaning of your desire really is. Being Love, God can only answer you with Love to your ultimate joy. Have no fears or doubts. –excerpt from Brother Rene letter, dated April 2004

We are now at the end of Lent, and I know for me it has been a bumpy road, but one worth traveling. I have had to face myself in some uncomfortable ways, as I’ve fasted from certain habits of body and mind. It’s been quite revealing to try and let go of something for a while.

My commitment to fast from pressure, and not just have a glass of wine to relax on a Friday night, has forced me to look below the surface. There, I have honestly had to examine the attitudes and intentions I bring to my daily life.

Pause and reflect on what you have been fasting from during this Lent? What have you noticed? What have you discovered?

What I discovered in my journey of fasting was that as I began to release the pressure I was holding myself and my life in, I could hear God’s deeper desire for me. I could hear the invitation to come into a more loving relationship with the Divine, with myself, and with my life. I could hear the invitation to let the Divine carry me more.

Pause and reflect on what you have discovered about God’s desire for your life during this time? Take a few deep breaths. Be still. And let yourself listen with your heart.

And so below the surface, in the soil of my soul, I am being called to stop relating to my life with a sense of pressure, and to receive the outpouring of Divine generosity more. And during this spring season, with flowers bursting into bloom all around me, they have become a wonderful teacher. Flowers are generous and teach us about generosity.

Recently, I spent a Saturday afternoon with my friend at Filoli Garden, here in the Bay Area, and I was intoxicated by the hundreds of tulips in bloom, standing tall in all their glory. As I walked through the gardens, I felt as though I was walking inside the generosity of creation. It was a gift. And I heard myself say: thank you.

We can see that Lent is not about a list of ‘what we have accomplished,’ but like the flowers it is about ‘what God has accomplished in us,’ in the soil of our souls.

Reflection and practice:
Gaze on these flowers, and see how God has grown in you during this time.

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