Discerning My Place in the World: Getting in Touch With My Deepest Desires

Yesterday was the fourth session of an 8-session program series I am offering at UST Law School over the course of this academic year on Discerning My Place in the World. The focus of yesterday’s session was the role of desire in discernment.

In the words of James Martin, S.J., “Once we scrape off any surface selfishness, our deepest longings and holy desires are uncovered: the desire for friendship, the desire for love, the desire for meaningful work, and often the desire for healing. Ultimately, or course, our deepest longing is for God. And it is God who places these desires within us. This is one way God calls us to himself. We desire God because God desires us.”

In my talk, I shared Ignatius’ view of desire and talked about the distinction between our deepest desires (what Martin terms holy desire) and surface desires. I also talked about what Ignatius would consider to be disordered desires or attachments.

After my talk, I gave the participants time for silent reflection, after which we had time for sharing both in small groups and in the larger group.

You can access a recording of my talk here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for xx and there is a short pause early on.) A copy of the the handout I distributed – an exercise taken from Elizabeth Liebert’s The Way of Discernment is here.


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