Historians have noted a common longing found among all peoples. It is in our design to reach beyond what we have, beyond what we are, beyond our time, beyond ourselves. The danger of this longing is that if we are not aware of its presence, its source, its end, and its proper means, the devil himself will propose an attractive means of satisfaction.
Loneliness, craving for resolution, that gnawing desire that ebbs and flows in your heart is part of God’s design. It is His presence within us – drawing us to Him as a lover draws the beloved. If we are not awake and engaged with God, the enemy will lure us to satisfy this longing with the flesh, with relationships, with things, with activities, with food, with possessions, with all manner of inebriation and false remedy.
If we are truly awake, our state of alertness orients our souls to be drawn to the only thing that will truly satisfy – we are drawn to God – to prayer – to worship – to silence.
The challenge with this proper response is that it only partially mitigates the suffering of the not yet fully satisfied hunger. It only slightly mitigates the emptiness because now, though we see Him and can know Him, we only see through a glass dimly. Though the contemplative path clears the glass to a degree, our vision will only be perfect when we see Him face to face.
St. Luke provides a light to this partial darkness of unfulfilled longing and is a perfect precursor to Advent.
“But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:34-36
A simple reflection reveals powerful prescriptions that can light our path until His return:
– Guard your hearts from being weighed down
o By the wasting of time – on occupations of time, attention, and energy that don’t advance our love for God or those He has placed in our care.
o By inebriation – by seeking a false remedy for our longing through worldly means that will only serve to dull our hearing the voice of God.
o By the cares of this life – all the normal and often good things that can easily become idols if we let them.
– The Lord is coming and we must be ready and awake
– We must fight to remain awake and watch with vigilance
– We must never cease in our prayer
– We must pray that we have the strength to persevere
Guard your hearts brothers and sisters. Allow the longing to draw you to the only thing that will satisfy. The Lord is coming.
Be assured of my daily prayers and fasting for you as you enter into the season of longing.
Unum est Necessarium
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