I very seldom repost, but I got this from the folks at St. Isaac the Syrian Skete today (skete.com), and I wanted to share it.
+ + “True Love and the Answer to Our Prayers” + +
True love is not just getting what we want. Our vision of what is good is clouded by our desires, wants, cares, and our self-serving, even when we try to be unselfish. It is clouded by our not seeing the big picture of what is good, better, and best. We are just too small to know from our own little perspective, whereas God is not limited in sight, and most importantly, loves us with a completely unselfish love, and has pledged to give us what will illumine our heart, brighten our mind, and fulfill every good thing here and in the world to come. When we pray, we are really inviting God to enter more deeply into our lives, asking Him to interfere with our small sight to give us truly what is best. Often, however, we just want God to give us what we want, but that is too small, too selfish, and too uncaring to express what He sees is best. As we grow in our experience in this world, we should learn that overcoming our every whim and desire is a sign of maturity and wisdom, and so is in our best interest. Without restraint and self-denial we would be inordinately lazy, incredibly selfish, and become icons of low living and being, demanding that everyone and everything around us serve our every want. Spoiled children are deeply wounded by the weak love of getting what they want when they want it, and this becomes a habit. Helen Keller is a good example of finding a better love then what her parents could do, as she was born deaf and blind. She lived in many ways like an animal until a courageous woman teacher, Annie Sullivan, came at her parents request to try to reach Helen with an understanding of how to communicate with others in a higher and better capacity. After an epic struggle of will, Helen had her mind opened by restraint, and went on to become a wonderfully productive
person in this life and was able to share many good things with others. Annie struggled to give Helen more than she could imagine. Yet God struggles with us far more pervasively to give us every good thing, because he is the source of all goodness and love. Let us thank Him for answering our prayers with more, with better, and with the best, and ask Him to bring us now toward His Heavenly Kingdom. Amen. Jesus said to Peter, “When Thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkest whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shalt gird thee, and carry thee where thou wouldest not.” (John 21: 18) The Monastics at St. Isaac of Syria Skete and at the Convent of St. Silouan and the Faithful at St. Nicholas Church and the Staff at Orthodox Byzantine Icons and St. Isaac’s Bookstore.