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A Teaching On Desire From St. Augustine

Most of the saints have written about the central battle of our life: desire. What we desire is crucial because in the end, we get what we want. Either we die wanting what God offers, or we die not wanting it. Either we love what and whom God loves, or we don’t.

We tend to think that everyone wants to go to Heaven, but that isn’t true. Heaven is not one’s personally designed paradise; it is the Kingdom of God with all of its values: forgiveness, chastity, love of all (including our enemies), and generosity, among many others. In addition, God is at the center, not us. Many people don’t desire some or all the values of the Kingdom of God and thus die in a state of indifference or opposition to what God is offering. For example, some do not want to love their enemies or live chastely. God will not force them to love what or whom he loves.

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