The Deep Longings
Fr. Jarred and I have been preaching about our Core Purpose, trying to answer why our parishes exist and what purpose we serve. After prayer, reflection, and guidance, we have surmised that we exist so that the deepest longings of the people can be met by the deepest longings of Jesus Christ.
Our parishes exist because each and every person is made for God. Every person has been created with a God-shaped hole in their heart that Jesus longs to fill. There are so many beautiful expressions of this longing for God. Last Sunday I shared St. Augustine’s famous line, “You have made us for yourself O God and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
There are many scriptural references to this deep longing, especially in the Psalms. The Psalms are the prayer book of the Old Testament and many people use the Psalms to guide their prayer. There are two particular places in the psalms that I want to highlight. The first is Psalm 42 which reads in part:
As the deer longs for streams of water,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
When can I enter and see the face of God?
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your torrents,
and all your waves and breakers
sweep over me.
By day may the Lord send his mercy,
and by night may his righteousness be with me!
I will pray to the God of my life.
The second psalm to mention is Psalm 63. This could be my favorite of the 150 Psalms. It profoundly describes our desire for God.
O God, you are my God—it is you I seek!
For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts,
In a land parched, lifeless, and without water.
I look to you in the sanctuary to see your power and glory.
For your love is better than life; my lips shall ever praise you!
I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands, calling on your name.
My soul shall be sated as with choice food, with joyous lips my mouth shall praise you!
I think of you upon my bed, I remember you through the watches of the night
You indeed are my savior, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.
As we distribute the books for Lent, I encourage you to make this journey with Mother Teresa. She deeply felt and described the longing of her soul for Christ and the desire that Jesus has for her. The book highlights many aspects of this thirst for God. There are bookmarks inserted to keep you on track along with questions to aid your reflection. I pray that you have a fruitful Lent and grow closer to Jesus Christ and energized to share His Gospel with your friends and family.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson