Lord, help me resist the empty attachments of a
world that can never match the fulfillment of
Heaven. I will walk humbly with You
anticipating the glory of Your Kingdom.
We are made in the image and likeness of an infinite God. From our finite perspective, can we fathom the depths of a soul? What are the limits of love? In our finite nature, can we even imagine the infinite expanse of the spirit of love given to us?
These questions may help explain our insatiable appetites. When we indulge ourselves on the pleasures of this world, it only kindles a fire for more indulgence. We have an unlimited capacity to want. We get addicted. Our addiction knows no bounds. When we have little, we want a little more. When we have much, we want much more. Can there be a limit to our desires or will we always seek more worlds to conquer… more wealth to acquire?
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be (Matt 6: 19-21).
This unfillable cavern within each of us is there to welcome the infinite… God Himself. Our insatiable nature requires an infinite source to fill. Until we turn to Him as our greatest good, we wander aimlessly in search of those things that can never hope to satisfy us. He gave us the capacity to take great pleasure in the basic necessities of life… food, drink, recreation, procreation, et al. However, if these necessities are indulged beyond their essential nature, we find ourselves seeking more and richer experiences. We desire them not just for their necessity but for the pleasure they give. We enslave ourselves to our passions.
There are physical limits to our passions—we can only ingest so much of the world on our own. Rather than filling our hearts and bodies with that which can’t hope to satisfy us, we should turn our attention to the practice of virtue… the practice of love… an infinite pursuit.
Just as our capacity for wanting the pleasures of this life is insatiable, so is our capacity for the practice of virtue… and it is a practice. It takes work and we were made for this work. As we focus our attention on the will of God and the practice of virtue, we gain greater appreciation for Him who is Love-personified and a greater desire to grow in virtue. Virtue may be described as love in action. It is an expression of our desire to give of ourselves in the model of our Lord who gave His life as ransom for ours. There is no limit to our capacity to love because love itself is infinite.
In focusing on the will of God, we find Heaven. Is it a physical place or can it be described as a state where the will of God is perfectly done? Although we acknowledge our inability to perfectly do God’s will, we can walk a path toward perfection… practicing virtue. He hasn’t given us an impossible task—He has given us a goal to guide our hearts. We pray in our Lord’s Prayer for our Heavenly Father’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Turning this phrasing around suggests that Heaven is where His will is done… as we all are called to do… because we were made to be with Him in Heaven… united in spirit… even here and now… regardless of physical circumstance.
Why can the world not know peace? Why did our Lord prophesy endless wars and rumors of wars? Until all come to God to be filled by His infinite love, there will always be those who can not be satisfied by their portion. The violence done to neighbors is the manifest insatiable desire of those who would have the whole world… and still be empty.
Our Lord, who is the King of all kings, was offered the kingdoms of the world… and He refused. His Kingdom and His treasure aren’t in the fleeting and empty riches of the material world. He values us. He stooped from His throne to walk among us as a pauper. He gathered His sheep into His fold. The God who is Love-personified loved us to His own death that by His death we might have eternal life. He spent His time among us collecting His treasure. The only treasure He took home to Heaven is the one He came to find… us.
May we set our hearts on the Kingdom and find the only treasure that truly satisfies.
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides (Matt 6:31-33).