Love, Desire and Grief

The Book of Godly Encouragement, II

All sorrow comes from love and desire. Desire and love are real fountains of grief.

If I carry sorrow about perishable earthly things it is because I loved and desired them instead of God. It is because I did not love God with my whole heart as he wants to be loved. Is it any wonder then that God saw best to let my things get taken away?

All desire, lust, and love spring from what likens itself. Like attracts like and desire draws what is similar. A pure person loves only what is pure. A just person loves only what is just, and by the words of their mouths we may know with what people are filled.

This is a sure sign: Those that speak of and desire earthly things are of this earth, but those that desire godly things are of God.

Why strive for and find our joy in what quickly perishes? Why speak much about it, or put much effort into obtaining it? This is a sure sign that God has not enlightened us or worked in us, and we should be ashamed of it.

If we are in the right we do not complain about earthly loss and suffering. We only lament the fact that we are still affected by it.

How can we profess to belong to heaven, and to have our hearts set on heavenly things, while little matters on earth still upset us so easily?

We pray every day for God’s will to be done—but so often when God’s will is carried out, we grumble and become upset or sorrowful.

Lord help us love and desire nothing but you, and what pleases you, all day long!

Heinrich Seuse, ca. 1295-1366, Schwaben, Germany

Leave a reply