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What Do You Really Want?

May  27th,  2021
By Clare read
Posted in Men

I think it’s safe to say that we all have experienced a time where we desire something that maybe seems wrong, or twisted, or over-indulgent, and we find ourselves either suppressing those desires, or seeking them out in order to fill the hunger.  If this isn’t you, please call 1-800-i’m-not-a-human.  Seriously though!  Let’s look at a simple example.  Let’s say it’s your birthday, and your mom bakes your favorite chocolate cake.  Cake time rolls around and MAN this cake tastes GOOD!  Every bite is like a taste of eternal bliss (don’t lie, you’ve been there).  You’re nearing the end of this piece, and you start to get sad (..come on, you’ve also been here).  You probably feel a little silly for being sad over finishing a piece of cake, but it’s happening!  You can’t help it.  At this point, you may be mourning the loss of your cake, but your stomach is full. “I should be satisfied” you think to yourself, “but I’m not.”  The longer you sit, the more you come to realize how unsatisfied you are, and you start to really long for another piece of cake.  You decide to go for it, and MAN this cake tastes GOOD all over again.  But you’re nearing the end of this piece, and not only are you starting to get sad again, but now you feel ill from eating too much.  You’re confused as to why you still feel unsatisfied.  However, you’re even more confused as to how it’s possible to want more cake while feeling ill and full from the last two slices you ate.  Overall, you’re still unsatisfied.  At this point, you might even be questioning, “what is wrong with me?”

You should be pleasantly surprised to hear that I have great news for you: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.  This longing and desire you’re experiencing is pointing to something much greater than this piece of cake.  This points to an ache that cannot possibly be filled by human hands, but by God and His love alone.  Yet we find ourselves grasping at anything and everything that is pleasing to our human senses in order to try and fill that ache, and we are constantly disappointed when we don’t succeed.  The reason you relate to this is because it’s a human experience; you are not alone.  So, why are we talking about cake?  Each time you took a bite and felt that experience of bliss, you were receiving the tiniest taste of Heaven.  Just to be clear, cake is not Heaven.  But when our human senses are ignited and awakened to the point of elatedness – that points to God.  

Cake is a minor example but this longing we experience goes past our appetites. We experience this longing in our diets, shopping habits, relationships and even our sexuality.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  God created us as sexual beings.  Not only that, but God, Himself, created sex.  Oh man, Did I say that out loud?!  This is something that took me a while to really comprehend.  If God created sex, that must mean sex is… good???  That’s right! Sex is good, holy and fruitful.  But when manipulated by the devil, sex turns into something it was never meant to be.  The devil doesn’t have his own clay, in other words – he can’t create anything fresh and new like God can.  Satan tries to distort God’s magnificent and holy creations, and he attempts to twist them into something dirty, ugly, abusive and manipulating.  Pornography is the product of the devil’s malicious attempts – he is the great plagiarizer.  Malicious is certainly the right vocabulary, because pornography is something that plays with our natural, human desires.  It’s instantly gratifying and can stand as a “quick fix” in our times of suffering and despair.  That desire to watch pornography is very similar to the desire to consume cake for eternity; it’s disordered.  We are drawn to pornography because it’s an imitation of the real thing.  Satan intercepts your good and holy desires for infinite love, and tries to tell you that pornography is what you really want.  He lies to us and says that this rush of physical pleasure is what will ultimately fill us. Lies.  It’s a cheap and dirty imitation of authentic spousal love.  But let me make this very clear, your struggle with pornography does NOT define you.  You are unique and wonderful; you always have been and you always will be.  It does leave us with the question, what is it you’re really looking for? 

Whether you realize it or not, by looking at pornography, you’re actually in the state of searching. You’re searching for what is good, holy and true.  This might seem ridiculous, but hear me out.  Again, we were created with this chronic ache in our hearts just waiting to be filled.  As humans, we were also created for love and relationship.  All of this ties together, and leaves us searching to fill the ache we feel deep within.  But one of the most difficult things to comprehend is the fact that our relationships with other humans cannot fully satisfy the ache.  However, we still find ourselves running to the people in our lives, in hopes that they will fulfill us. When we realize they can’t, maybe that’s when we run to food or media.  And when we realize neither of those are filling us, maybe that’s when we run to pornography.  And when we get stuck in the cycle of watching pornography, we run the risk of addiction – leaving us stuck, wounded, and confused.  You’re searching. You’re desperately seeking to satisfy the ache.  The ache itself is a GOOD thing.  It only becomes problematic when we take on the responsibility of satisfying it ourselves, or when we rely on other human persons to satisfy it for us.  God the Father is the only One who has the ability to satisfy it.  So, when you run to pornography, what is it you’re really looking for?  You’re looking for the truth.  You’re looking to satisfy the God given ache to be loved and loved authentically.  You’re looking for an infinite, spousal union with Jesus.  So when those desires come, open the ache.  Turn it into a prayer and allow Jesus to enter into that longing in your heart.  A beautiful and powerful prayer to pray is, “Lord, give me your eyes. Purify my mind and my heart.  Re-order my desires and help me to see what you see.” Remind yourself that pornography is not the love you want, nor the love you deserve.  You deserve to receive and experience the authentic love you really long for. 

Also know that if you do fall, His mercy is always available.  In the book of Romans, St. Paul says, “where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.”  When we fall into sin, God wants us to come to Him through the sacrament of confession.  NOT because He wants to be condescending and prove Himself right – but rather because He wants to heal our hearts by filling us with His mercy.  He wants to embrace us in our woundedness.  He wants a relationship with us; one that is vibrant and intimate.  So we HAVE to open the ache – whether that be in the moment of desire, or when we fall into false intimacies.  He is the only one who can truly satisfy, and you deserve to be filled.

Practicals: 

1.  When those desires come, open the ache.  Turn it into a prayer and allow Jesus to enter into that longing in your heart. A beautiful and powerful prayer to pray is, “Lord, give me your eyes. Purify my mind and my heart.  Re-order my desires and help me to see what you see.” 

2.  Remind yourself that pornography is not the love you want, nor the love you deserve.  You deserve to receive and experience the authentic love you really long for.  
3.  If you do fall, His mercy is always available.  In the book of Romans, St. Paul says, “where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.”  When we fall into sin, God wants us to come to Him through the sacrament of confession.  NOT because He wants to be condescending and prove Himself right – but rather because He wants to heal our hearts by filling us with His mercy.  He wants to embrace us in our woundedness.  He wants a relationship with us; one that is vibrant and intimate.  So we HAVE to open the ache – whether that be in the moment of desire, or when we fall into false intimacies.  He is the only one who can truly satisfy, and you deserve to be filled.

About the Author

Clare graduated from Walsh University in 2019, earning a bachelors degree in Sociology Applied Family Studies, along with a minor in Psychology. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Clare comes from a large family of ten children and two loving parents! Clare always had a passion for ministry, as well as a profound desire to learn the deeper meaning behind human existence. When she found The Culture Project, it opened the door for her to do just that. The deeper meaning that she had been so desperately searching for was revealed to Clare through this mission, and she is now determined to spread it herself. "I should not have had to search for the meaning behind my body, my worth, and my existence at the age of 23. I said 'yes' to this mission because we should not have to search at all; we deserve to have the truth be brought to us. We are all entitled to that deeper meaning without the tireless search, and that's exactly why I am thrilled to be serving as a missionary with The Culture Project."


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