Among the several most prominent characteristics of love is that of reciprocity, by virtue of which, love always demands reciprocity and the more love one part of the two gives, the more love it receives from the other party.
Longing and desire, in itself, are the same thing..., but longing implies vehemence in desire and this is precisely what happens when a person leads an intense spiritual life who begins with desires and as he advances in the development of his love for the Lord, he is becoming more intense and because of the influence of divine grace in his soul, what were initially only desires ending up becoming strong longings for love for the Lord.
The process that is generated, because of the principle of reciprocity. Among the several most prominent characteristics of love is that of reciprocity, by which, love always demands reciprocity and the more love one part of the two, the more love it receives from the other party, so a situation of growth is established the quantity and quality of love that both parties bestow on each other. There is a well-known thought of Saint John of the Cross, which says: Where there is no love, put love and you will find love. This explains that marriages that began their first years of married life throwing the junk at the head, persevering and with the years are happy. Rare is the marriage that has served the golden weddings, and they still throw the crockery at the head. Love is a passion, which although some find it difficult to accept, is stronger than hatred; simply because love emanates from God because God is love and only love as St John tells us (1Jn 4:16), while hate is the antithesis of love is the essence of the devil. And God is incomparably stronger than the devil, who lives always subject to the lord's dispositions.
But when we begin to walk the path of intimate spiritual life, our spiritual longings are different and change over time. Let us take the example of the apostles. At the beginning of their apostolic life, when they are still with the Lord and therefore have not yet received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and their souls still have at that time the weight of great materiality. It is James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who tell the Lord: "Master we want you to do to us what we are going to ask of you. Tell them: What do you want me to do to you? They said unto him, Grant us to sit on your right and the other to your left in your glory. Jesus, He said, "You don't know what you're asking for!" (Mk 10, 35-38).
Something similar happens to us too, because we fight, pray, sacrifice, we are assiduous to the Eucharist, and for all this like the children of Zebedee, we believe ourselves with the right to have great glory, even secretly think about it and we hold on to it at first we know and tell us that: No one who loves the Lord will ever be disappointed, for as we can read in the Gospels: "Everyone who will leave brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children or fields, out of love for my name, will receive the centuple and inherit eternal life. And many first will be the last ones, and the last ones, first" (Mt 19,29-30).
And here is our mistake, the same mistake committed by the sons of Zebedee: The lack of humility. Believing ourselves with rights, when no one has any right about God, all we now receive are gifts, and what we will receive will also be gifts. As we have said before, God is love and only love and where love mediates no rights or obligations, but unconditional and gifted gifts from the Lord. No one who gives himself unconditionally to the Lord can say that he loves Him, because love is neither bought nor sold, is only acquired as a gift by blindly and unconditionally.
It could be said that the secret yearning, which almost all those who take their first steps in the spiritual life, that is to dream of reaching great glory when one reaches heaven, which is not bad in itself, but we should never wear it as a goal to be completed. St. Jose María Escrivá, ridiculed in his talks, those who intend to perform great spiritual feats, disproportionate to reality. He ironized these purposes, which for him were similar to the exploits of Tartary de Tarascan wanting to hunt lions in the corridors of his house. It is a tactic used by the evil one, that when he sees that we want to perform according to our strength, something that will bother him a lot, he immediately proposes to us to do something much better and superior, because he knows our strength, and knows that what superior, we will never bring it to fruition and thus deviate us from doing something more modest but effective.
In the development of spiritual life, we must begin with humility, become aware of our incapacity and spiritual poverty and above all humility, above all humility, the humility that is the queen of virtues and the one that gives us the most benefit in the development of our spiritual life. If there is one thing that most disgusts the Lord, it is the pride of spiritual character. Let us remember the Pharisee praying in the Temple. Let us not worry about our future placed in heaven, let us think more about the real dangers that make us so as not to reach heaven. In Psalm 131, we can read:
"Lord, my heart is not ambitious, nor my high eyes;
I don't pretend greatness that exceeds my ability,
but I soothe and moderate my desires, like a child in the arms of his mother." (Psalm 131)
Our merit will always be to fulfill the will of the Lord and to love Him, to love Him, to love Him with passion with madness, for in the same way that we love Him, so but with much more, It will be up to us.