A speaking of desire, Chesterton writes, ““There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” This quote seems to summarize so well the underlying principle of the line of the our Father in which we ask our good Lord to give us our daily bread. Yet, we have to wonder, if such wisdom is so clear and we all recognize its validity, why do we fail to live accordingly?

Such an inquiry leads us to the heart of spiritual warfare. To truly conquer the deep disorders of the heart which choke the true potential of our desires, we must undergo a constant purification in which our fallen human nature is brought under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By way of comparison, it would be similar to trying and redirect a flow of water, such as a river. One cannot simply put an obstacle in the river and expect the water to stop.

Instead, the constant flow of our interior life must be redirected through a habit of vigilance. Formal prayer and the Sacred Scriptures is an integral part of such a redirection because it nourishes our intellect with noble sentiments and good ideals. In addition, in the Word of God, we come into contact with the presence of Jesus Christ and learn to discern his voice. This, in turn, leads us to give spontaneous time to explore the roots of disordered desires, exposing them to the healing power of the Holy Spirit. These various elements represent a complete path of transformation which integrates the intuitive with the analytic, the emotional with the intellectual.

Thus, we must direct our intuition and our ability to reason through conformity with Divine Revelation. In time, we will experience a greater integration and spiritual wholeness, a wholeness which is not simply the result of personal efforts. Such harmony allows the authentic work of the Holy Spirit to well up in our hearts, and suddenly that line of the Our Father will resonate with our experience. We will soon discover that our desires for the things of this world will become balanced, and we will be able to say with confidence, “I am content with my daily bread.”

That is why we must give time each day to allow our desires to be purified and transformed. Giving unscripted time is an essential catalyst to this process.