A while back, I had the privilege of reading the manuscript for Christopher West’s new book, Fill These Hearts, God Sex, and the Universal Longing. It was Ah-mazing! I found myself weeping on a flight to Chicago as the Lord put in my in touch with those deep yearnings of my heart, yearnings that could only ever be satisfied by Him (God, not Christopher). It was actually this book that inspired me to write a recent post, entitled, Heaven is a Lake of Beer, which if you haven’t yet read, I’d encourage you to!
The following has been written by Christopher on his upcoming book followed by a link to the complete post:
I call it the “ache.” We all have it. We all feel it – a yearning, an interior burning that cries out from the depths of our being for infinite satisfaction. In a recent address to a cultural gathering in Rimini, Italy, Pope Benedict wrote about how we are often deceived by “false infinities” – things that promise to satisfy our yearning for the infinite but never can because, well, they’refinite.
When we take our yearning for the infinite to something finite, we inevitably become other Mick Jaggers: people who “can’t get no satisfaction” though we “try / and we try / and we try / and we try ….” Welcome to the culture of addiction, where people are caught in the futile attempt to suck infinity out of finite things, constantly needing more and more and more and more ….
Those who get burned by the life of the addict may then be tempted to become a stoic – someone who represses “the ache” and tries not to feel it. Many people mistake this approach for holiness, as if Christianity’s prescribed remedy to disordered desire is to squelch desire altogether. NO! The addict must not become a stoic! The addict must become a mystic: someone who is learning how to direct his desire for infinity toward infinity.
I write about these themes at great length in my forthcoming book, Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing, and in two short pages, Pope Benedict’s Rimini address offers an amazingly cogent summary of the whole book – as close to a papal endorsement that an author could hope for.
As I say in Fill These Hearts, “Despite all the widespread impressions to the contrary, we must impress this truth upon our souls and allow it to settle in our bones: Christianity is the religion of desire, and its saints are the ones who have had the courage to feel the abyss of longing in their souls and in their bodies and to open that longing in ‘the groanings of prayer’ to the One who alone can heal their ‘wound of love.’”
Watch the Fill These Hearts trailer: