Ever since the early Mass this morning, I've been grateful for this line from the second letter of Paul to Timothy:
"I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands."
I find that so encouraging, because it suggests to me that there is something to stir! A priest once told me that I "seemed to have a desire for prayer." I almost cried, it was such a beautiful compliment. But I don't always feel like I'm on fire with that desire for God, or even furnished with enough fervor to get through the day with what feels like adequate devotion.
St. Paul's words remind me that even when I don't perceive in myself much of a fire for God, my religious life, or my priesthood, the fire is still there, smoldering quietly. It is my free choice whether or not I can surrender to God or consent to his grace enough on any particular day to have the embers stirred into flame. But the fire of desire for God is still there no matter what, because God has made us that way.