What Are You Living For?

09 DEC | DAY 11


Daniel Burke is a passionate Catholic, husband, father of four, radio personality, speaker, the founder of the award-winning blog Catholic Spiritual Direction, and author of the book Journey to God. He is also the executive director of and writer for EWTN’s National Catholic Register, and a regular co-host on Register Radio.


By the Dynamic Catholic Team

Who sits on the throne of your heart?

Just before she died, Saint Joan of Arc wrote:

“I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it and then it’s gone. But to surrender what you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying—even dying young.”

At just 17 years old, Joan of Arc realized one of the most profound truths about life, a truth most people go through their whole lives without discovering. In the end, we all give our lives to something.

Every saint’s mission might look a little different, but each saint started by getting clear about what matters most and what matters least. They all began by making Jesus the King of their hearts.

Jesus said, “Those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). It is a paradox, but it is also absolute truth. We all give our lives to something. When that something is Jesus, we receive life in abundance.

So, who or what are you giving your life to?

A sign that you are giving your life to something other than God is a lack of peace. You might possess everything there is to be desired—money, power, wealth, honor, glory, pleasure—but if Jesus is not at the center of your heart, if you don’t put these things at the service of God and your fellow man, you will be deeply unsatisfied.

But, fortunately for us, the opposite is also true. When we are joyful, peaceful, courageous, humble, loving and caring, it is precisely because we have our priorities in order. It is because God sits on the throne of our hearts!

Traditionally, Advent is the time to spend contemplating the last four things—death, judgment, heaven, and hell. The Church does this as a way of putting our lives within an eternal perspective, to reflect on who or what we are giving our lives to. I don’t know about you, but when I consider the last four things, I feel a sense of urgency to get my priorities right before it is too late.

So, take a step back. Make it a day of self-examination. Think about the last four things. Then get really clear about your priorities. If Jesus is not sitting on the throne of your heart find out who or what is. Then make today the day you start doing something about it.

The question is, when Jesus does come, will you be ready to place him on the throne of your heart?


Who is sitting on the throne of your heart?


Quietly spend some time thinking about the last four things—death, judgment, heaven, and hell—and come to grips with your own mortality. Then, if Jesus is not the center of your life, do what is needed to change that.


O Lord my God,

Teach my heart this day where and how to see you,

Where and how to find you.

I have not yet done that

For which I was made.

Teach me to seek you,

For I cannot seek you

Unless you teach me,

Or find you

Unless you show yourself to me.

St. Anselm


How can you reflect on the last four things?