I’ve always had a great longing in my heart….a longing to be loved and to belong. I’ve had a deep desire to be accepted, and I’ve wanted so badly to be noticed.
There was nothing wrong with those desires…they were written on my feminine heart. They were there to move me to union and communion, a good and holy desire.
What I didn’t realize is that my heart would never be satisfied with anything less than union with God, and a relationship with my Heavenly Father. I didn’t know that it was Jesus who was going to unite me to Him. I didn’t know that the Holy Spirit was the only One who could teach me to pray and utter cries so that the Father would come running to get me and bring me to Himself.
Lacking any understanding of the virtue of temperance that could keep my desires moving toward God and moving within the limits that were honorable, true, and good, the attraction of pleasures and instant gratifications caused me to use created goods and people without any moderation or balance.
So, though the desires of my heart were essentially good, I have and sometimes still choose lesser things with no restraint on my appetites. Whether it was excesses in food and drink, or using or being used by men because I lacked understanding of the dignity of my body, there seemed to be no reason not to grasp at what felt good. Out of control spending on material things, has at times kept me consuming and consuming my way into debt- not really understanding why I was never satisfied or at peace.
Until, God reached out His mighty hand to save me. It wasn’t a one time event. I dive back into those murky waters a thousand times over. But once I experienced the beauty of union and communion, I was given the gift of temperance. This virtue began to grow in me as I practiced it, and slowly I mastered my passions. Feeling a sense of freedom because I was no longer a slave to my lesser desires, I began to seek the grace to be strengthened in temperance, and the practice of it leads to a more moderate life.
I learned to balance eating, drinking, exercising, and buying. I learned the dignity I deserved in relationships with men, and treated them in turn with the same. I knew when to turn off the music and study, and when to get enough sleep. Sometimes I practice the virtue of temperance when I learn to hold my tongue in conversation.
Ultimately, I had found the Great Desire of My Heart- in God Himself alone. Love was keeping me whole and uncorrupted by granting me the grace to practice temperance.
Now I find acceptance in His Sacred Heart first. And then I find it in my holy group of friends and the holy saints that I want to emulate, and who cheer me on in virtue.
Now, the Heavenly Father notices everything about me, and I feel His gaze on me, His beautiful daughter. Jesus, the Son, is teaching me temperance, and forever giving me new ways to practice it. And the Spirit is giving me His gifts to empower me in my moral decisions.
It’s a path that requires some discipline, but one which I have found that all the longings of my heart are met and so exceeded, that I’d never want to turn back.
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