A chalicer is fearless (James 4). The chalicer shows heroic faith through abstinence from sinful desires (1 Peter 2). If you exercise a mustard seed’s worth of restraint you will be able to remove mountains of sin from your life. Why then do you so often fail, and even more often are tripped up by the same things? Because you have no faith. Fearlessly face your sin. Engage but do not indulge.
What is your deepest wish?
I must continue the work of transfiguration. I must constantly refine the lead bullion of my heart into gold. It is folly, all is folly. I am not capable of even polishing gold, let alone transmute lead! But this is also part of the work. This is the hidden teaching: I must behave as if what I am and what I do is a matter of life and death.
I must constantly, fearlessly, work at refining the bullion in me – even though when the transfiguration happens it is sudden, in the blink of an eye, and it is given me – I cannot sweat transfiguration through hard work. But I must live as if I could, just as I must strive to enter the present as if I am a conqueror or an explorer, even though I am, in reality, an apostle, an ambassador.
The second question here is: what is my deepest wish? Whatever I am wishing for now I have already been given. Ask and it shall be given, in fact it is already given. I have received all that I have longed for already. If the present doesn’t look much like what I ordered, then I must spend time figuring out what present did I order.
My whole body screams my deepest wish. Why is it so hard for me to hear it? And when I hear it why do I not understand? It is I speaking in my own tongue, the tongue which spells out my true name. It is closer to me than my native tongue. It is closer to me than my secret sighs.
What is my wish? Once I reach it, once I am able to see it clearly, I will be able to change it. The mere fact of clearly seeing the wish changes it. It is like an enchanted frog – will I kiss it?
To find the wish I simply have to be intimately familiar with the biggest stranger in my life: myself. I must be more familiar with my self then I am with my projections, my dreams, my desires. Yes they all are part of my self, but they are clothing. I must seek to know myself naked. I must seek to know myself as God knows me.