To reach satisfaction in all
desire its possession in nothing.
To come to possess all
desire the possession of nothing.
to arrive at being all
desire to be nothing.
To come to the knowledge of all
desire the knowledge of nothing.
—- St. John of the Cross
As Christ emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, so we, who follow Christ, must let go of all obstacles to a life in Christ. As Paul writes in Galatians 2:20: “…I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Our lives are captive to many things, ideas, and values that are not of Christ, and serve only to distract and demand our attention. In the midst of such distractions we can be tempted to serve these gods and offer sacrifices of our time and treasure, only to find emptiness and addiction, wanting more and never being satisfied. There is a spiritual exercise that can remedy this futile search for satisfaction, and that is fasting; denying the flesh and embracing full dependence on God’s providing. When we suspend our hunger for earthly appetites and experience true emptiness, we then make room for a hunger for things of God. By removing the distractions associated with our bodily appetites, we experience an appetite for God’s providing; living waters that quench a thirst that mere H2O can’t reach, living bread that feeds a hunger that a four course meal can’t even come close to satisfying, a love so divine, a hope so possessing, a peace that passes all understanding. Taking the time to empty ourselves of gluttony, greed, lust, envy, anger, apathy, and pride would be a nice beginning in our attempt to be more accessible to God’s presence.