“And so certain changes, though desired in theory, when the opportunity arises are never implemented,” he said.
“Often,” he said, “it is indeed desire that makes the difference between a successful, coherent and lasting project, and the thousands of wishes and good intentions with which, as they say, ‘hell is paved with.’”
The moon was visible over St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, on the morning of Oct. 12, 2022. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
He recalled that Jesus, before performing a miracle, often questions a person about his or her desires, like he does with the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda in chapter five of the Gospel of John.
“Jesus asks him: ‘Do you want to be well?’ How come?” the pope said.
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He explained that “Jesus’ question was an invitation to bring clarity to his heart, to welcome a possible leap forward: to no longer think of himself and his own life ‘as a paralytic,’ transported by others. ... By engaging in dialogue with the Lord, we learn to understand what we truly want from life.”
The paralytic, he continued, is an “example of people [who say,] ‘Yes, yes, I want, I want,’” but in the end, never do anything.
Instead of taking action, we find excuses or complain: “But be careful,” he said, because “complaints are a poison, a poison to the soul, a poison to life because they don’t make you grow the desire to move forward.”
“If the Lord were to ask us, today, the question he asked the blind man in Jericho: ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ how would we answer?” the pope said. “Perhaps we could finally ask him to help us know his deepest desire, that God himself has placed in our heart.”
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.