Theology Thursdays No.2
Last week we looked at becoming "partakers of the divine nature"... this week we start back at the very beginning: Man's Desire for God. Have you ever stopped to think about Man's Desire for God? Does Man have a Desire for God? I know Man has a Desire for french fries... good bourbon... companionship... but what about God? Is that just lagniappe or part of our DNA? Let's see what the Church has to say on the subject.
Desiring you to have a great day,
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states it simply:
The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for (CCC 27).
Good to know.
So that happiness we are looking for in 2018 is there waiting for us... in Him. But there is much more packed into this small catechism article. Like the final phrase... [mankind] never. stops. searching. Often we think there will be an end to the searching, an end to the wandering, and end to the wondering. But Mother Church reminds us that we never stop searching. She is, after all, an expert in humanity.
While we grow in knowledge about our faith and in knowledge about our God and through our prayer lives actually get to know God on a personal level, we are still talking to an invisible God. (Granted, the Word did become Flesh and dwelt among us... and granted He is Really Present, body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Blessed Sacrament, and sure, our priests stand In persona Christi...) But we reach out in prayer to a God we cannot see. And naturally, we sometimes wonder--Are you listening? Are you even there? Did you forget about me? Especially when times get tough. When our personal suffering is overwhelming. Or even worse--when those we love suffer. But we keep reaching out because, well, faith. experience. and because... it's in our DNA. The desire for God is written in the human heart.
Doubt that the Church is an expert in humanity? Check out CCC 2567:
Man may forget his Creator or hide far from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having abandoned him...
But the God who created us--created us with this Desire for Him does not leave us in our self-made miseries. Because God Comes to Meet Man in that desire:
...yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer.
Oh. Right. Prayer. I think I made a New Year's Resolution about that... CCC 2567 goes on (emphasis added):
In prayer, the faithful God's initiative of love always comes first; our own first step is always a response. As God gradually reveals himself and reveals man to himself, prayer appears as a reciprocal call, a covenant drama. Through words and actions, this drama engages the heart. It unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation.
God comes to meet us in that desire... FIRST. Our response is prayer. In prayer we are not (as we sometimes think) blathering away hoping for God to show up... He was there first. Waiting for us. Longing for us. Anticipating our arrival.
Remember being a little kid and getting reeeeeally excited about that favorite aunt coming to visit? You wait, looking outside of the window waiting for her car to pull up!! Maybe she has presents, or great stories about her travels, or presents. The Lord waits in eager anticipation of us showing up in prayer. He can't wait to hear about our day. He loves the details. He wants to know it all--who really made you mad, who made you laugh, what did you eat for lunch, what's bothering you, what is going to keep you up tonight, who you like, who you love, who you want to love but just can't even. He wants our presence. Our hearts. Our reality. Our everydayness. Our ordinary. Our Tuesday. We have a Desire for God but He does not leave us alone in that Desire. He draws us into Himself.