What are You Longing For? Guess What? It’s God!

Just below is a wonderful new reflection from Fr. Robert Barron. In it he ponders the growing secularism of the day. In many ways, especially in Europe, faith has been almost completely kicked to the curb. Questions about who is God…Who am I in relationship to him….what is the meaning and destiny of my life…..Questions like these have been suppressed; dismissed as irrelevant.

But here’s the problem: We are wired for God! We have within us an infinite longing, an unlimited desire for completion and fulfillment. God has written his name on our hearts and we simply cannot be happy without his ultimate presence and place in our heart. Oh, I know, many claim they can, but in the end we all know its a lie. This world simply does not satisfy us. It is limited and our desire is unlimited. Sooner or later we confront the absurdity of the world’s claim to be cure for what ails us. Go ahead, get it all: power money, sex, popularity, possessions, even people. I promise you it won’t be enough. And even if you do get it all, then you die, end of story.

In the end, we are made for God. The modern world may have kicked God to the curb but the absurdity of that becomes more and more evident as we descend further into addiction, lust, unhappiness, stress, suicide, you name it. You may say “We have always had these.”  Yes, but the doses are so much higher today. For all our creature comforts, (and we have many), we seem less happy, less content, less fulfilled, more stressed out more suicidal, more addicted, more divorced or never married, more  than those who went before us without all the comforts we “enjoy.”

Living without God is painful. We are wired for God. All those longings, yearnings, the sighing with you? It’s about God:

  • Our hearts were made for thee Oh Lord and they will not rest till they rest in thee.”  (St. Augustine Confessions Book 1 Chapter 1)
  • Come,” says my heart, “seek God’s face”; your face, LORD, do I seek! (Ps 27:8)

2 Replies to “What are You Longing For? Guess What? It’s God!”

  1. There does seem to be that unfortunate relationship where an increase in material satisfaction causes a decrease in spiritual satisfaction. Or as Mother Teresa points out, we have very little material poverty in the West, but a much deeper spiritual poverty and loneliness. Perhaps another positive effect of a material recession or depression is a rise in spiritual awareness?

    I would also add that we are not just made for God in the future, but we come from God in the past, and though it’s most hard to believe, we are made and sustained by God right now, even though we may not be aware of it.

  2. The topic below was discussed on WMAL’s Grandy & Andy show Tuesday morning:

    Americans Are Less Religious. Why? Are We Better Or Worse For It?

    Americans who don’t identify with any religion are now 15% of the USA, but trends in a new study shows they could one day surpass the nation’s largest denominations; including Catholics, now 24% of the nation. American Nones: Profile of the No Religion Population, to be released today by Trinity College, finds this faith-free group already includes nearly 19% of US men and 12% of women. Of these, 35% say they were Catholic at age 12. “Will a day come when the Nones are on top? We can’t predict for sure,” says lead researcher Barry Kosmin. But if Nones, now 22% of all adults ages 18 to 29, continue to gain among young adults, to draw more people “switching out” from denominations and to replace more religious older people, researchers forecast one in five Americans will be Nones in 20 years. “Trends clearly favor this,” Kosmin says. But he also notes, “There could be a Great Awakening (massive Protestant revival) or immigration may bring in more Catholic believers.”

    Do you believe this statistic? Do you see less religion now than in generations past? Are you personally less religious? If this is the case, why? What is it about our society that causes people to drift away from religion? Is this a bad thing for our country?

    A common theme of those who called in to respond was that they don’t need church in order to have a relationship with God. I think that such people are missing out on a lot.

    Some think that one doesn’t need to set aside a specific time and place for worship and prayer. Given the busy lives many of us have, what isn’t scheduled isn’t done! We need to be able to give prayer and worship our full attention…and not use it as a means to pass the time while we’re sitting on the Beltway or waiting for the microwave to finish heating leftovers.

    Some think that there’s nothing new to say about Scripture – it’s same old same old on a three-year cycle of readings. I think it’s a little presumptive to think that one knows everything there is to know. Even an expert theologian could learn something from another’s perspective. Perhaps something else some don’t like about “same old same old” is being challenged about attitudes and behavior that are immoral or unethical, but acceptable within our larger society.

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