In Chapter 6, Sonja Corbitt invites us to take a look at our desires and how to figure out which ones lead us to God. The title of the chapter, “Do You Love Me?” comes from John 21:16. As you may recall, the Apostle Peter had denied Jesus three times after Jesus had been arrested. After this, he deeply regretted his actions and wept bitterly. Jesus had already told Peter that he was the one on whom his new Church would be built. Surely, Peter must have felt that he had lost that right. How could Jesus give him that honored task after he had proven himself to be so unworthy? So, after the Resurrection, Jesus asks Peter the question three times, once for each of his previous denials: "Do you love me?" Jesus didn’t take away Peter’s call to lead the Church. Peter had repented and been forgiven, but also, as Corbitt points out, “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” (Rom 11:29)
Jesus asks us the same question. Do we love him? Do we want what He wants for us or do we have our own agenda? Corbitt challenges us to take an honest look at our desires while acknowledging that this can be difficult. Why do we want what we want? Our desires can and do lead us to God, but as Corbitt so aptly puts it, they can also take a “detour to Mordor.” We need to get to the root of our desire. Do we want illicit sex or do we want to feel loved? Do we want to gorge ourselves on food, or new clothes, or shoes, or whatever our personal addiction may be, or do we want to feel comforted or in control? We need to learn to ask God for what we most need and to trust that He will provide it for us because we are going to the source of all goodness. God wants us to lean on Him in our weakness. God wants us to love Him more than anything and anyone else.
In a number of books I’ve read this year, the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about this very topic. I have come to understand that each person suffers from some core wounds, often from childhood, maybe even from birth. We all have a place that hurts and is in need of healing, the healing that can only come from God. I have been led to take an honest look at my life, at the areas where I sin most frequently. I came to understand where my core wound lay and the reasons for it, and have been praying for healing. I don’t know if full healing will come in this world or the next, but I am making progress. Perhaps more accurately, I’m allowing God to make progress working in my heart.
I’ve started praying for others as well for them to have the healing that only God knows that they need. I may see the symptoms in their words, actions or illnesses, but only God knows the source of the pain. That’s where the true healing needs to take place so that we can desire all that God wants for us. Like Peter, God has called us for some special task, and has given us the gifts and talents to fulfill it. We need to ask the Holy Spirit for the help to discern our calling as well as for help in doing what God is calling us to do.
To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:
1) Take an honest look at your desires, especially the ones you hide from everyone else. What is at the root of them? What is it that you truly want?
2) Do you have any deep core wounds that you need to bring to the Lord for healing? Start to pray for that healing. Ask the Lord to help you have the desires He wants you to have as well as for the help you need to fulfill the tasks he is calling you to do for Him.
Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week's reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.
Next week, we'll cover Chapter 7. For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the Unleashed Book Club page.
Copyright 2015 Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
About the Author
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur has a Master’s Degree in Applied Theology and is the author of The Catholic Baby Name Book, The Power of Forgiveness, and Our Lady of La Salette: A Mother Weeps for Her Children. A mother of three, she is the editor of TodaysCatholicHomeschooling.com as well as a freelance writer and editor.