Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Paradox of the Altar

By Giovanni Battista Tiepolo via WikiPaintings
Many of the desires we have are God given, for our Lord desires us to pursue our vocations, that by them we might make manifest His Kingdom.

Sometimes God asks us to give up our desires though, even the things He has seemed to promise us. That giving up, however, is frequently not a permanent thing. We offer up that which we love most that we might receive it back holy - "whoever loses their life for me will find it" (Matthew 16:25). Like Abraham, we put the child of promise upon the altar trusting in the goodness of God.

Yet there is a paradox, and one I am not at all certain how to live in. I have felt called to, at least for a time, sacrifice something dear to me. Nevertheless, I have a certain faith that God will give it back to me sanctified. How do I do this, though? How do I give up to God the promise, trusting all the while that He shall return it to me? How do I make God my end and not the thing I am giving up? For unless God is my desire, the Beloved who I yearn for with all my heart, then I cannot sacrifice this desire, and I will never then receive it back holy.